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Free Content Knowledge and practice pattern of non-allopathic indigenous medical practitioners regarding tuberculosis in a rural area of India

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the knowledge and practice patterns of non-allopathic indigenous medical practitioners (IMPs) regarding tuberculosis (TB).

METHODS: Seventy-four IMPs practising in Naraingarh block, a rural area of Haryana State, India, were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule.

RESULTS: Fifty-four per cent (40/74) of the IMPs saw two to five TB patients every month. Sixty-one per cent (46/74) reported that they based their diagnosis of TB on symptoms alone, whereas 38% use diagnostic tests such as chest X-ray, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and sputum examination. Forty per cent of the IMPs reported that alcohol was the cause of TB, 36.5% cited smoking and 17.6% reported infection as the cause. Only 34% (25/74) of IMPs reported that they treated TB patients, while the rest said that they referred such cases to nearby hospitals. Anti-tuberculosis drugs used by IMPs were isoniazid, rifampicin and streptomycin, but none of them knew the dosage of the drugs, the duration of treatment or the correct regimen. Sixty-four per cent of the 25 IMPs reported using ayurvedic medicines.

CONCLUSION: Considerable proportions of TB patients seek IMPs for cure of TB, while the knowledge and practice of IMPs is inadequate.
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Keywords: India; medical practitioner; rural; treatment; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Community Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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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 lung health world-wide.

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