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Free Content Myths and realities about knowledge, attitudes and practices of household contacts of tuberculosis patients

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SETTING: Five Colombian cities: Villavicencio, Pereira, Cucuta, Bucaramanga and Bosa.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices related to tuberculosis (TB) in household contacts (HHCs) of TB patients.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted. The estimated sample size required was 855. The World Health Organization guide ‘Advocacy, communication and social mobilization for TB control: a guide to developing knowledge, attitude and practice surveys' was translated into Spanish and adapted to the dialect of each city. HHCs were invited to participate in the study and included if they agreed.

RESULTS: We interviewed 878 HHCs. Most of them knew that TB was transmitted by airborne droplets; however, 52.2% also said that TB could be transferred from one person to another by sharing plates or clothes or shaking hands. Fifty-five per cent of HHCs acquired TB-related information from health care workers, and 44% from family members and friends. Fear was the main reaction reported by HHCs when they were informed of a TB diagnosis (60%). Eighty-five per cent of HHCs answered that the community rejects or avoids TB cases.

CONCLUSION: There are significant gaps in the knowledge about TB and the stigmatisation associated with it. Educational strategies should be designed together with the community to demystify many misconceptions about TB.
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Keywords: attitudes; household contacts; knowledge; practice; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Organization for Migration, Bogotá, Colombia, Pan American Health Organization, Washington DC, USA 2: School of Medicine, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellin 3: International Organization for Migration, Bogotá, Colombia 4: Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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

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