Impact of Community-Based Lymphedema Management on Perceived Disability among Patients with Lymphatic Filariasis in Orissa State, India

Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Impact Factor: 4.45). 03/2013; 7(3):e2100. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002100
Source: PubMed


Lymphatic filariasis (LF) infects approximately 120 million people worldwide. As many as 40 million have symptoms of LF disease, including lymphedema, elephantiasis, and hydrocele. India constitutes approximately 45% of the world's burden of LF. The Indian NGO Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) has been conducting a community-based lymphedema management program in Orissa State since 2007 that aims to reduce the morbidity associated with lymphedema and elephantiasis. The objective of this analysis is to evaluate the effects of this program on lymphedema patients' perceived disability.

Methodology/Principal Findings
For this prospective cohort study, 370 patients ≥14 years of age, who reported lymphedema lasting more than three months in one or both legs, were recruited from villages in the Bolagarh sub-district, Khurda District, Orissa, India. The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II was administered to participants at baseline (July, 2009), and then at regular intervals through 24 months (July, 2011), to assess patients' perceived disability. Disability scores decreased significantly (p<0.0001) from baseline to 24 months. Multivariable analysis using mixed effects modeling found that employment and time in the program were significantly associated with lower disability scores after two years of program involvement. Older age, female gender, the presence of other chronic health conditions, moderate (Stage 3) or advanced (Stage 4–7) lymphedema, reporting an adenolymphangitis (ADL) episode during the previous 30 days, and the presence of inter-digital lesions were associated with higher disability scores. Patients with moderate or advanced lymphedema experienced greater improvements in perceived disability over time. Patients participating in the program for at least 12 months also reported losing 2.5 fewer work days per month (p<0.001) due to their lymphedema, compared to baseline.

These results indicate that community-based lymphedema management programs can reduce disability and prevent days of work lost. These effects were sustained over a 24 month period.

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Available from: Katherine E Mues, Sep 30, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis aims to interrupt transmission of lymphatic filariasis and manage morbidity in people currently living with the disease. A component of morbidity management is improving health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients. Measurement of HRQoL in current management programs is varied because of the lack of a standard HRQoL tool for use in the lymphatic filariasis population. In this study, the psychometric properties of three health status measures were compared when used in a group of lymphatic filariasis patients and healthy controls. The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0), the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and the Lymphatic Filariasis Quality of Life Questionnaire (LFSQQ) were administered to 36 stage II and stage III lymphatic filariasis subjects and 36 age and sex matched controls in Kerala, India. All three tools yielded missing value rates lower than 10%, suggesting high feasibility. Highest internal consistency was seen in the LFSQQ (α = 0.97). Discriminant validity analysis demonstrated that HRQoL was significantly lower in the LF group than in controls for the WHODAS 2.0, DLQI, and LFSQQ, but total HRQoL scores did not differ between stage II and stage III lymphedema subjects. The LFSQQ total score correlated most strongly with the WHODAS 2.0 (r = 0.91, p<0.001) and DLQI (r = 0.81, p<0.001). The WHODAS 2.0, DLQI, and LFSQQ demonstrate acceptable feasibility, internal consistency, discriminate validity, and construct validity. Based on our psychometric analyses, the LFSQQ performs the best and is recommended for use in the lymphatic filariasis population.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 02/2014; 8(2):e2716. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002716 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Lymphedema management programs have been shown to decrease episodes of adenolymphangitis (ADLA), but the impact on lymphedema progression and of program compliance have not been thoroughly explored. Our objectives were to determine the rate of ADLA episodes and lymphedema progression over time for patients enrolled in a community-based lymphedema management program. We explored the association between program compliance and ADLA episodes as well as lymphedema progression. Methodology/Principal Findings A lymphedema management program was implemented in Odisha State, India from 2007–2010 by the non-governmental organization, Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A cohort of patients was followed over 24 months. The crude 30-day rate of ADLA episodes decreased from 0.35 episodes per person-month at baseline to 0.23 at 24 months. Over the study period, the percentage of patients who progressed to more severe lymphedema decreased (P-value = 0.0004), while those whose lymphedema regressed increased over time (P-value<0.0001). Overall compliance to lymphedema management, lagged one time point, appeared to have little to no association with the frequency of ADLA episodes among those without entry lesions (RR = 0.87 (0.69, 1.10)) and was associated with an increased rate (RR = 1.44 (1.11, 1.86)) among those with entry lesions. Lagging compliance two time points, it was associated with a decrease in the rate of ADLA episodes among those with entry lesions (RR = 0.77 (95% CI: 0.59, 0.99)) and was somewhat associated among those without entry lesions (RR = 0.83 (95% CI: 0.64, 1.06)). Compliance to soap was associated with a decreased rate of ADLA episodes among those without inter-digital entry lesions. Conclusions/Significance These results indicate that a community-based lymphedema management program is beneficial for lymphedema patients for both ADLA episodes and lymphedema. It is one of the first studies to demonstrate an association between program compliance and rate of ADLA episodes.
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