Delayed care-seeking and its underlying factors among patients with tuberculosis in Yangon, Myanmar

Publication Year 28 Aug 2023

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Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health problem in Myanmar. Early care-seeking behaviors play a significant role in reducing TB transmission and speeding recovery. This study was conducted to estimate the proportion of patients with TB who delayed care-seeking and to identify underlying factors.
Methodology: The study population included patients with TB treated in a TB diagnostic center in April 2015. A total of 346 patients were chosen as eligible respondents. The data were collected using structured questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. In addition to descriptive statistics, chi-squared test and multiple logistic regression were performed to show any associations.
Results: The study revealed that 66.8% of patients delayed care-seeking, and the average duration of delay was 21 days. Using the chi-squared test, factors such as education, occupation, family income, knowledge of TB, possessing information about TB, having a family member or close friend contract TB, travel distance, and cost causing a burden were significantly associated with delayed care-seeking (p < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis found that 4 variables exhibited significant associations: low levels of education, occupation as government staff member, possessing information about TB, and having a family member or close friend contract TB (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The results from this study provide useful comprehensive information addressing underlying factors associated with delayed care-seeking behaviors. These can be used to advance health education interventions regarding TB and strengthen early diagnosis of TB within community settings.