Journeys to tuberculosis treatment: a qualitative study of patients, families and communities in Jogjakarta, Indonesia

Rintiswati, N.; Mahendradhata, Y.; Suharna; Susilawati; Purwanta; Subronto, Y.; Varkevisser, C. M.; van der Werf, M. J.
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Many tuberculosis (TB) patients in Indonesia are diagnosed late. We seek to document patient journeys toward TB diagnosis and treatment and factors that influence health care seeking behavior. Methods: TB patients in Jogjakarta municipality (urban) and Kulon Progo district (rural) were recruited from health care facilities participating in the DOTS strategy and health care facilities not participating in the DOTS strategy, using purposive sampling methods. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with TB patients and members of their family and through Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with community members. Results: In total, 67 TB patients and 22 family members were interviewed and 6 FGDs were performed. According to their care seeking behavior patients were categorized into National TB program's (NTP) dream cases (18%), 'slow-but-sure patients' (34%), 'shopaholics' (45%), and the NTP's nightmare case (3%). Care seeking behavior patterns did not seem to be influenced by gender, place of residence and educational level. Factors that influenced care seeking behavior include income and advice from household members or friends. Family members based their recommendation on previous experience and affordability. FGD results suggest that the majority of people in the urban area preferred the hospital or chest clinic for diagnosis and treatment of TB whereas in the rural area private practitioners were preferred. Knowledge about TB treatment being free of charge was better in the urban area. Many community members from the rural area doubted whether TB treatment would be available free of charge. Conclusion: Most TB patients took over a month to reach a DOTS facility after symptoms appeared and had consulted a number of providers. Their income and advice from household members and friends were factors that influenced their care seeking behavior most.


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