Muhammad Kashif Munir, Rizwan Iqbal, Iffat Shabbir, Khalid Chaudhry.
Factors responsible for failure to initiate tuberculosis treatment among smear positive tuberculosis patients.
Pak J Med Res Jan ;51(2):34-7.

Background: Tuberculosis is a major health problem in many parts of the world. Delay in initiation of the treatment may result in prolonged infectious state, drug resistance, relapse and death. Objectives: To determine the factors responsible for not starting tuberculosis treatment among smear positive tuberculosis patients. Study type, settings and duration: This cross sectional study was done at Pakistan Medical Research Council TB Research Center, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, from 5th March 2010 to 5th December 2010. Patients and Methods: Fifty sputum smear positive patients of tuberculosis who did not register themselves in treatment register and presumably did not initiate anti tuberculosis treatment were contacted using telephone or traced by their home addresses. Once contact was established, they were inquired about the reasons for not starting tuberculosis treatment. Results: Of 50 patients 38(76%) belonged to the lower socio economic class and 12(24%) to the lower middle class. Fourteen patients (28%) were illiterate and 23(46%) had only 8 years of education. Of the 50 cases 41(82%) were taking treatment from traditional healers and 4% did not go back to the DOTS program. Physical condition of the patient, social, domestic and religious issues also played some role in default. Conclusions: Lack of health education and poverty were the main factors responsible for non compliance from treatment. Policy message: Sputum testing sites should have a paramedic who should educate the patients about the benefits of treatment and the dangers of default or partial treatment.

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