Knowledge and perception of treatment among tuberculosis patients attending primary care clinics in Malaysia
Keywords:knowledge, perception, tuberculosis
Introduction: Tuberculosis is a disease of public health concern. It can be treated effectively with good knowledge about the disease and complete adherence to the recommended treatment regime. This study is intended to assess the level of knowledge and perception of treatment among tuberculosis patients attending primary care clinics.
Methodology: We conducted a cross-sectional study using a validated self-administered questionnaire among tuberculosis patients attending primary care clinics in Johor Bahru district. A total of 208 tuberculosis patients were enrolled in this study through convenience sampling. We assessed the general knowledge, transmission, causes, and prevention of tuberculosis, where higher scores indicated better knowledge. For the perception of treatment, a higher mean score indicated a more negative perception.
Results: The mean score for knowledge on tuberculosis was 54.33 ± 12.78, ranging from 25 to 88.9%. The mean score for perception was 2.75±0.52, ranging from 2.15-3.39. We found that although 88.9% of respondents knew a person could be infected with TB through inhalation of tuberculosis bacilli, a majority believed that smoking (68.2%), sharing food (69.2%), and eating from the same plate (66.8%) are causes of tuberculosis. Moreover, there was still a negative perception regarding the treatment of tuberculosis with the highest mean score for the statement ‘I am afraid if I am told I am tuberculosis positive’.
Conclusions: We found that there were gaps in knowledge among tuberculosis patients. Intermittent counseling during the treatment re-enforces the knowledge of tuberculosis. An updated standardized counseling sheet of tuberculosis Health Education should be included along with staff training to update their knowledge as part of their important role in health education in tuberculosis prevention.
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