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Free Content Tuberculosis patients and practitioners in private clinics in India

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Setting: Rural and urban areas of Maharashtra, a large state in Western India.

Objective: To understand tuberculosis (TB) management practices among private medical practitioners (PPs) and the treatment behaviour of the patients they manage.

Design: Prospective study of help-seeking patterns and treatment behaviour among 173 pulmonary TB patients diagnosed in private clinics, and the TB management practices of 122 PPs treating these patients.

Results: The first source of help for 86% of patients was a PP. The diagnostic and treatment practices of PPs were inadequate; 15% did not consider sputum examination to be necessary, and 79 different treatment regimens were prescribed by 105 reporting PPs. Sixty-seven percent of the patients diagnosed in private clinics remained with the private sector, and the rest shifted to public health services within six months of treatment. The treatment adherence rate among the patients in private clinics was 59%. There were discrepancies between the reported management practices of the PPs and what their patients actually followed.

Conclusion: The study identifies and highlights the need to educate PPs and their TB patients, and indicates ways in which PPs could be meaningfully involved in efforts to revitalise the national TB control programme.
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Keywords: India; management practices; patient behaviour; private practitioners; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: The Foundation for Research in Community Health, Worli, Mumbai, India 2: Global Tuberculosis Programme, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: April 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

    The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health. To allow us to share scientific research as rapidly as possible, the IJTLD is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles as preprints prior to their publication. Read fast-track articles.

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