Introduction: Leprosy is one of the oldest and most stigmatizing diseases to affect mankind and is still considered a public health problem in many developing countries.
Objective: To analyze how the social representations of leprosy patients are structured.
Method: The purpose of this study was to analyze how the social consequences of leprosy affect people carrying the disease. A multi-method approach was used, based on the Theory of Social Representations. A total of 100 subjects participated in this study (50 males and 50 females). Data were analyzed using the following software: SPSS (to assess social, economic, and clinical aspects, EVOC, SIMI, and AVRIL (to integrate the structure of social consequences).
Results: The central core for women was “family”. In the similitude test, this word was associated with “exclusion”. For men, the central core was composed of “family”, “work”, and “treatment”.
Conclusions: The healthcare model must strive to take into account the day-to-day concerns of leprosy patients, with a view towards greater consideration of gender differences and the development of a more humanized care system based on full assistance in order to control this disease.
from International Archives of Medicine