SETTING: Three selected districts in Burkina Faso.
OBJECTIVES: 1) To explore patients' and community members' perceptions and problems associated with accessing formal tuberculosis (TB) treatment; and 2) to identify patients' and community members' perceptions and problems associated with adhering to formal TB treatment.
METHODS: Twenty-eight focus group discussions and 68 in-depth interviews with TB patients, community representatives, members of the health centre management committee, traditional healers and health professionals.
RESULTS: Attending the health centre was the last resort for patients with symptoms indicative of TB. When on treatment, patients faced a number of barriers in adhering to care. These related to the centralised nature of direct observation and the problems faced whilst at the treatment unit.
CONCLUSION: Patients experience three sets of inextricably linked barriers to successfully treating TB: attending the health centre initially, attending the health centre repeatedly and experiences whilst at the health centre. These barriers are further complicated by geography, poverty and gender. The challenge ahead lies in moving beyond documenting barriers from patients' perspectives to addressing them in resource-poor contexts
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (2004) 8 (12) 1479-1483