• Users Online: 430
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 258-264

Assessing the prevalence and socio-demographic determinants of the unsolved problem of perceived social stigma: A study among leprosy-affected persons in North Bengal, India

1 Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Sushrutanagar, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Sharmistha Bhattacherjee
Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Sushrutanagar, Darjeeling, West Bengal
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_24_22

Rights and Permissions

Background: Leprosy has been affecting the human race since millennia, characterized by widespread, slow-healing lesions that lead to severe physical deformities. Along with its communicability, leprosy patients have therefore been subjected to widespread social stigma all over the world. Even though a largely effective national program has reduced the incidence of cases substantially in India, stigma has persisted. The present study aimed to assess the perceived stigma among leprosy patients living in rural areas and receiving care in a rural leprosy clinic of Northern West Bengal, India and to determine different factors associated with it. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 61 leprosy patients over the month of January 2021. The Explanatory Model Interview Catalog (EMIC) stigma scale was used to measure the perceived social stigma. Descriptive statistics and a multivariable linear regression analysis were used to present and explain the data. Results: Illiteracy and low socio-economic status were prevalent among the patients. The perceived stigma scores ranged from 4 to 35, with a mean of 23.36 ± 9.13. When adjusted for predictor variables such as age, sex, marriage, education, and socio-economic status, it was seen that perceived social stigma increased significantly (P-value=0.029) with increasing age. Female sex (P-value=0.022), illiteracy (P-value=0.017), and Grade 2 disability (P-value=0.009) were also significantly associated. Conclusion: The study observed that the overall perceived stigma levels among leprosy patients in this region were still high. This signals an enduring persistence of the problem. It is of urgent need to develop and implement stigma reduction strategies.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded28    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal