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Revista Psicologia e Saúde

versão On-line ISSN 2177-093X


LEAO E SILVA, Leonardo Oliveira et al. Social Representations of the Process of Diagnosis and Cure of Leprosy. Rev. Psicol. Saúde [online]. 2020, vol.12, n.2, pp. 73-87. ISSN 2177-093X.

This descriptive study of the transversal type aimed to identify the social representations of the process of diagnosis and cure of leprosy in two territories with different rates of detection of the disease. The software R allowed the identification of the nucleus of the representation, being the elements most cited by the participants: Contagious, Cure, Skin Disease, Leprosy, Spot, Treatment. It is concluded that the social representations that individuals have in relation to leprosy, when surrounded by stigmas and prejudices about the disease, delay the search for medical help, causing a delay of correct diagnosis and initiation of treatment. In addition, the physical disabilities resulting from late diagnosis can generate prejudiced behaviors, which reflect archaic popular knowledge and deep-rooted beliefs regarding the disease's contagion. Such prejudiced behaviors with respect to leprosy are at the basis of their representations that raise the isolation of patients and the difficulty related to diagnosis, treatment, and cure.

Palavras-chave : leprosy; social psychology; social perception.

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