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"My Favourite Day Is Sunday": Community Perceptions of (Drug-Resistant) Tuberculosis and Ambulatory Tuberculosis Care in Kara Suu District, Osh Province, Kyrgyzstan.


ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Kyrgyzstan is one of the 27 high multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) burden countries listed by the WHO. In 2012, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started a drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) project in Kara Suu District. A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the perception of TB and DR-TB in order to improve the effectiveness and acceptance of the MSF intervention and to support advocacy strategies for an ambulatory model of care. METHODS:This paper reports findings from 63 interviews with patients, caregivers, health care providers and members of communities. Data was analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Validation was ensured by triangulation and a 'thick' description of the research context, and by presenting deviant cases. RESULTS:Findings show that the general population interprets TB as the 'lungs having a cold' or as a 'family disease' rather than as an infectious illness. From their perspective, individuals facing poor living conditions are more likely to get TB than wealthier people. Vulnerable groups such as drug and alcohol users, homeless persons, ethnic minorities and young women face barriers in accessing health care. As also reported in other publications, TB is highly stigmatised and possible side effects of the long treatment course are seen as unbearable; therefore, people only turn to public health care quite late. Most patients prefer ambulatory treatment because of the much needed emotional support from their social environment, which positively impacts treatment concordance. Health care providers favour inpatient treatment only for a better monitoring of side effects. Health staff increasingly acknowledges the central role they play in supporting DR-TB patients, and the importance of assuming a more empathic attitude. CONCLUSIONS:Health promotion activities should aim at improving knowledge on TB and DR-TB, reducing stigma, and fostering the inclusion of vulnerable populations. Health seeking delays and adherence problems will be countered by further implementation of shortened treatment regimens. An ambulatory model of care is proposed when convenient for the patient; hospitalisation is favoured only when seen as more appropriate for the respective individual.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4809488 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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