Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Open Access Stigma as a barrier to the use of occupational health units for tuberculosis services in South Africa

Download Article:
(PDF 139.2 kb)
SETTING: Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death in South Africa, and health care workers (HCWs) are disproportionally affected. The resulting absenteeism strains the already overburdened health system. Although hospital occupational health care units (OHUs) are cost-effective and of crucial importance in tackling the TB epidemic, the fear of being stigmatised by other colleagues might lead HCWs to avoid using OHUs.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the perception of TB stigma among colleagues has a negative effect on the willingness to use OHUs for TB services.

DESIGN: In the Free State Province, South Africa, a representative sample of 804 HCWs from six hospitals were surveyed on workplace stigma as a predictor for the use of OHUs for TB services. Applying structural equation modelling, we also controlled for exogenous variables.

RESULTS: There was a significant negative relationship between the perception of stigmatising attitudes and behaviours among co-workers and the use of OHUs for TB screening (β −0.21, P = 0.000), treatment (β −0.16, P = 0.001) and isoniazid preventive therapy (β −0.17, P = 0.000).

CONCLUSION: The negative effect of TB stigma on OHU use among HCWs can impact upon their health and increase hospital costs. This needs to be addressed by interventions combating TB stigma among HCWs in the workplace.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: TB; discrimination; health care workers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology and Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium 2: Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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 lung health world-wide.

    To share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles from the IJTLD and publishing them on The Union website, prior to their publication in the Journal. Read fast-track articles.

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

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
  • Public Health Action
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more