Treatment seeking behaviour and factors associated with its delay among newly - diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Indu J Ekka, Pallavi R Sidhaye, DM Saxena, Vishal Bankwar


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health challenge for various reasons, with patient delay in the diagnosis of TB being one of the important hurdles in the TB control. Early treatment of TB cases is important for reducing transmission, morbidity and mortality associated with TB.

Objectives: (a) to study the treatment seeking behavior among TB patients attending DOTS Centres (b) to determine any delay in seeking treatment among patients (c) to identify reasons and associated factors responsible for patient's delay.

Material and Methods : This was a cross sectional study conducted among newly- diagnosed pulmonary TB patients who were registered under the Revised National TB control program (RNTCP) in Jai Prakash TU of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Patients were interviewed using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire which was designed to elicit the treatment seeking behavior and factors associated with patient delay.SPSS Software was used for analysis and chi-square statistical test was used to compare two groups for proportions.

Results: Overall mean delay to seek treatment for tuberculosis was 27 days. Out of total 493 patients, 242 patients had reported delay i.e. 49.1% had notreported to doctor or health center for diagnosis when they had cough with more than 2 weeks duration. Sixty five percent patients had no awareness about TB. Fifty four percent patients first sought care in private health facility, followed by Government health facility 22.5% after they developed symptoms of TB.

Conclusion: Unsatisfactory knowledge of TB may be contributing to patient’s delay. There is a need for an active and ongoing IEC campaign, with special focus on an early diagnosis. Building partnerships with the private health sector for reducing the delays in the diagnosis of TB would be useful.


Treatment seeking behaviour, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Patient delay, DOTS Centre

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