Facial Nerve Paralysis (FNP) may cause disfigurement of the face, which result in psychological disturbances and isolation because of society’s reaction to people’s physical appearance. This study aimed to determine the relationship between psychological symptoms, age, the severity of symptoms, and societal integration in people with FNP.
The present research is a cross-sectional study involving patients with FNP approved by the research ethics committees of Kano State Ministry of Health and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. The instruments used in the study are Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) to assess psychological distress, House-Brackmann Scale (HBS) to assess the severity of facial nerve damage, and the Facial Nerve Palsy Integration Register (FAIR) to assess community integration of patients with FNP.
Thirty-seven patients with FNP (16 males and 21 females) with the age range of 14 to 70 years participated in the current study. The findings of this study showed differences in societal integration between males and females (in favor of the males); the severity of FNP decreased as the societal integration of the patients increased, and as age increased, the societal integration decreased. Additionally, there was no difference in the integration between single and married ones. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between depression and societal integration, but no significant correlation existed between anxiety and societal integration of the patients. Similarly, the findings showed a moderate negative significant correlation between the degree of disfigurement (severity) and societal integration of the patients.
Women and older patients with FNP may have less community integration. However, Women may be less depressed than men since they have social contacts with both men and women.