Dinesh Prasad Asati1, CM Gupta2, Shreyansh Tiwari2, Sanjeev Kumar3, Vishal Jamra4
1Department of Dermatology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2Department of Dermatology, LN Medical College and JK Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
3Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
4Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, LN Medical College and JK Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Background: Vitiligo is one of the common stigmatizing dermatosis in the Indian society and the vitiligo patients have to face significant psychological hurt and social neglect. The severity of the stigma is related to the society’s attitude and knowledge about it. Aims and Objectives: To document the prevalent knowledge and attitude in general public towards vitiligo patients, and to identify the determinants of good/poor knowledge and attitude. Materials and Methods: A systematic random sampling technique was adopted to enroll 700 adult participants visiting an urban tertiary healthcare facility of central India. We developed a questionnaire to collect information on knowledge and attitude of the participants. A composite score was developed for good knowledge and attitude and performance of the participants was compared with the selected determinants. Data analysis was conducted by Stata software version 11. Results: The overall knowledge score was good for 66.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 62.8%, 69.8%) of the participants. However, the score for attitude was comparatively poor i.e., only 16.9% (95% CI: 13.9%, 19.5%). None of the studied parameters could be significantly correlated with the knowledge score. Being married and being engaged in a health care related occupation were significant predictors of good attitude levels with P = 0.042 and 0.034 respectively, whereas female gender was the significant predictor for poor attitude with an odds ratio of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.33, 0.9) and P = 0.018. Conclusions: There were widespread myths prevalent about vitiligo in the studied population. The knowledge scores were better than attitude scores.
Keywords: Attitude, knowledge, myths, society perceptions, vitiligo.