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Acta Médica Costarricense

versión On-line ISSN 0001-6002versión impresa ISSN 0001-6012


RIVERA-CHAVARRIA, Ana; SANCHEZ-HERNANDEZ, Germana  y  ESPINOZA-AGUIRRE, Azálea. Barriers and facilitators related to leprosy detection in Costa Rica. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2020, vol.62, n.2, pp.65-71. ISSN 0001-6002.


To analyze barriers and facilitators related to the diagnosis of leprosy in Costa Rica from the perspective of the person with the disease and in the context of everyday life.


A qualitative exploratory study was carried out from 25 semi-structured interviews, with people with leprosy or with a history of having it, aged between 23 - 88 years, treated in the Costa Rican public health system. From the analysis of the qualitative data, the barriers and facilitators were classified into personal, cultural factors and the offer of health services.


In relation to personal factors, most of the participants reported having no knowledge or awareness prior to the disease. Fear of being stigmatized, intermittent symptoms, feeling good, work and family commitments were perceived as barriers. Among the cultural factors, some religious beliefs were perceived as barriers and the family history of leprosy as a facilitator in terms of seeking care and diagnosis. With respect to health services, timely access to appointments with informed health personnel, telemedicine and family doctors were cited as facilitators.


The main barriers and facilitators described in the results of the study should be considered in order to contribute to the detection and timely treatment of leprosy to cure the disease avoid disability and eliminate transmission.

Palabras clave : Leprosy; barriers to access health services; early diagnosis; qualitative analysis; Costa Rica..

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