Psychosocial Experiences of Podoconiosis Patients' the Case of Wolayta Zone

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this study was to assess the psychosocial experiences of podoconiosis patients. To this end, the study examined the psychosocial experiences of 120 podoconiosis patients of which 12 purposively selected podoconiosis patients participated in the in-depth interview. Each patient's were selected from patient register docwnent by using systematic sampling. The instruments employed in the study were interviewer administrated questionnaire and semi structured interview. The questionnaire includes Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, SRQ20, and Likert scale type questions developed by the researcher. Methods of data analysis employed in the study were descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations, one way ANOV A and multiple regressions. The results of quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data disclosed that podoconiosis patients experience negative social experience like displacement, interpersonal relationship problems, marriage problem, decision making problem. The patients have low selfesteem and high mental distress. Males experience more negative social experience and high mental distress than females, and the older age group patients' experience less negative social experience and mental di stress than younger podoconiosis patients. The self-esteem of the patients decreases when their educational status increases whereas mental distress decreases with increasing education level. When the severity level of the patients increases their negative social experience and mental distress increases. Sex and severity level have positive correlation with social experience and mental distress whereas age of the patients is negatively correlated with the social experience and mental distress. Physical disability, economic challenge, absence of counseling service, bad smell of the leg, societal negative reactions were the major problems which hinder podoconiosis patients to integrate into the wider community. Performing religious rituals, discussing with family, friends and relatives, and aggressive way of acting are some of the coping strategies used by the patients to manage their stress. On the basis of the findings the study finally provided discussions. Providing counseling service for podoconiosis patients, integrating the disease into the health care system of the country, and civil societies and professionals should play their part to address the psychosocial problems of podoconiosis patients are among the reconmlendations provided based on the study.



Experiences of Podoconiosis Patients