A qualitative study exploring delayed diagnosis and stigmatisation of tuberculosis amongst women in Uganda

Abstract

A qualitative study was undertaken to attempt to understand reasons for the delayed diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) amongst Ugandan women and to describe the nature of TB stigma and its effects in Uganda. Twelve women were interviewed. Participants were selected on the basis that they had smear-positive TB and had delayed consulting healthcare services for ≥30 days. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic content analysis. The study showed that the main reason for delayed diagnosis amongst women interviewed was a lack of recognition of symptoms. This may be due to low levels of TB awareness in the community. The study also showed that TB is stigmatised in Uganda, mainly due to associations with HIV. Many participants believed that TB only exists with HIV and that TB causes HIV tests to appear negative even for HIV-infected people. Health education programmes would be helpful to improve the understanding of TB and to combat harmful beliefs about TB and HIV in the community.

Citation

Macfarlane, L.; Newell, J.N. A qualitative study exploring delayed diagnosis and stigmatisation of tuberculosis amongst women in Uganda. International Health (2012) 4 (2) 143-147. [DOI: 10.1016/j.inhe.2011.12.002]

A qualitative study exploring delayed diagnosis and stigmatisation of tuberculosis amongst women in Uganda

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