Health beliefs surrounding leprosy induced foot ulceration ; an exploratory qualitative study from South Nepal

DeSancha, M, Jha, K and Williams, AE ORCID: 2015, 'Health beliefs surrounding leprosy induced foot ulceration ; an exploratory qualitative study from South Nepal' , Leprosy review, 86 (Sep) , pp. 254-264.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (95kB)


Leprosy is a complex and multi-faceted disease responsible for significant disability in several endemic countries. Physical impairments caused by leprosy are often amplified by local sociocultural phenomena in many parts of the world. In Nepal, sociocultural phenomena such as stigmatisation and health beliefs affecting treatment compliance and health seeking behaviours are known to play an important role in the acquisition of disability. Foot-ulceration is reported to be a common sequelae of leprosy, however, presently little research has been published investigating the potential influence of patient beliefs on management of foot ulceration in leprosy affected persons. Objective: In light of this we conducted an exploratory qualitative study to investigate the health beliefs held by patients with foot ulceration at a Leprosy hospital in Nepal. Methods: A mixture of open-ended interviews (n ¼ 21), three focus groups and a series of field observations were used to explore the explanatory models of foot ulceration thought to be used by leprosy affected people to understand and explain this specific comorbidity. Results: Our findings indicated that a wide range of health beliefs were present in our sample, many of which lie outside of the biomedical understanding of illness. This included a range of non-biomedical beliefs regarding wounds and widespread application of the traditional ‘hot-cold’ model of illness used to explain foot ulceration. Discussion: The findings of this study appear to suggest many beliefs held by leprosy affected persons concerning foot ulceration are highly complex, with some expressed beliefs potentially having a negative impact on self-management of ulceration.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Leprosy review
Publisher: LEPRA (The British Leprosy Relief Association)
ISSN: 0305-7518
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Anita E Williams
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 10:52
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 15:47

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year