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Free Content Trends of delays in tuberculosis case finding in Japan and associated factors

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SETTING: Nationwide tuberculosis (TB) registry in Japan, 1987–2002.

OBJECTIVE: To clarify the trends of patient's delay (PD), doctor's delay (DD) and total delay (TD), their relation and factors associated with the delays.

DESIGN: Longitudinal study on trends in delays. Among patients with symptomatic smear-positive pulmonary TB, those with long PD (≥2 months), DD (≥1 month) and TD (≥3 months) were analysed.

RESULTS: Long PD rates increased until around 1997, whereas long DD rates decreased markedly from 1995 to 1999. Long TD rates increased until 1997, and decreased slightly thereafter. Men aged 30–59 years had higher rates of long PD, and the long PD rates increased through the 16-year observation period. Day labourers receiving or applying for welfare benefit had the highest rate of long TD, 46.5% during 1995–2002. Teachers and medical doctors showed the greatest increase in long TD rates through the period.

CONCLUSION: Long TD was influenced more by PD than DD, and showed an upward trend. However, the long TD rate has declined slightly owing to the recent reduction in long DD. The reduction in DD since 1995 occurred immediately after the introduction of new technology in bacteriological examinations.
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Keywords: Japan; case finding; delay; factor; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA), Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan 2: Department of Epidemiology for Community Health and Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto, Japan 3: Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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