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Open Access Tuberculosis diagnostic pathway in a municipality in south-eastern Brazil

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OBJECTIVE: To analyse the pathway taken by tuberculosis (TB) patients from the first contact with the health services and the diagnosis of TB disease.

METHOD: In a survey conducted in a south-eastern municipality of Brazil prioritised for TB control, a structured questionnaire was applied to 100 TB patients under treatment; secondary data recorded in two information systems were also collected for analysis. Diagrams were constructed to represent the patient pathway through the health services up to diagnosis.

RESULTS: The emergency services were the point of entry into care for the majority of the patients. Those who first attended primary health care (PHC) centres needed to visit other health services for diagnosis.

CONCLUSION: Our study shows that multiple visits to multiple health services are required for the majority of patients to be diagnosed with TB. It is necessary to reinforce the referral path established for TB diagnosis and communication among providers, who should play a clear role in obtaining early diagnosis.
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Keywords: Brazil; health services; health services evaluation; health systems; primary health care

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ribeirão Preto School of Nursing, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 2: Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Publication date: 2013-10-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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