Systems of support for foreign-born TB patients and their family members
OBJECTIVE: To explore the infectious TB experience of patients and family members who are foreign-born.
DESIGN: This study formed one component of an ecologically framed, qualitative case study conducted in Calgary, AB, Canada. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, chart review and field notes, and analysed thematically.
RESULTS: Eight families were represented in the sample comprised of six patients and 13 family members. Many patients and family members experienced high levels of fear and stress for months following the patient’s diagnosis. Isolation was pervasive and multifaceted for both patients and family members. Intra-family support was critical for managing during early stages when the situation was most challenging. Support from outside the family was not prominent and attempts to obtain support from government programmes for paid sick leave and health insurance were mostly unsuccessful.
CONCLUSION: Patients and family members who are foreign-born experience multidimensional isolation as a result of TB stigma, language barriers and poor access to government programmes. TB programmes cannot meet family needs alone and systems of support should be created through collaboration with government institutions, and organisations serving ethnocultural communities.
Keywords: illness experience; people who are foreign-born; qualitative research; social determinants of health; tuberculosis
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Departments of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada 2: Departments of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada 3: Departments of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Professional Faculties Calgary, AB, Canada
Publication date: June 21, 2022
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