1921
Volume 99, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Delay in diagnosis and treatment worsens the disease and clinical outcomes, which further enhances transmission of tuberculosis (TB) in the community. Therefore, this study aims to assess treatment delay and its associated factors among pulmonary TB patients in Pakistan. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 269 pulmonary TB patients in the district. Binary and multivariate logistic regressions were used to explore the factors associated with delay in TB treatment. Results reveal that most patients were from low socioeconomic backgrounds. For example, 74.7% were living in houses, 54.7% were from lowest the income group (< 250 US$/month), 60.2% married, 54.3% illiterate, 62.5% rural, 56.1% had no house ownership, and 56.5% had insufficient income for daily family expenditures. Significant delays were revealed by this study: 160 patients had experienced a delay of more than 4 weeks, whereas the median delay was 5 weeks. Results show that the most important reason for patient delay was low income and poverty (42.0%) followed by unaware of TB center (41.6), stigma (felt ashamed = 38.7%), and treatment from local traditional healers. Old age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 6.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.63–26.95); and rural areas patients (AOR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.15–3.71) were more likely to have experienced delay. However, the higher income and sufficient income category (AOR = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.31–0.95) were associated factors and less likely to experience delay in patient treatment. Integrative prevention interventions, such as those involving community leaders, health extension workers such as lady health workers, and specialized TB centers, would help to reduce delay and expand access to TB-care facilities.

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  • Received : 02 Jan 2018
  • Accepted : 13 Mar 2018
  • Published online : 14 May 2018

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