Knowledge, attitude and misconceptions regarding tuberculosis in Pakistani patients
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OBJECTIVE: To assess knowledge of patients with tuberculosis; about their disease and misconceptions regarding TB. METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted at Out-patient clinics of two teaching hospitals (private and public) in Karachi, Pakistan. A questionnaire was filled for the purpose. RESULTS: A total of 170 patients were interviewed, 112 from private and 58 from a public sector hospital. Cough, fever, bloody sputum and chest pain were recognized as the common symptoms of TB. Eleven (7%) patients thought TB was not an infectious disease and 18 (10.6%) did not consider it a preventable disease. Contaminated food was considered the source of infection by 81 (47.6%) and 96 (57%) considered emotional trauma/stress the causative agent of TB. No counseling about preventing spread was received by 81 (50%) patients and 97 (57%) considered separating dishes as an important means of preventing spread. Thirty one (18%) patients would have discontinued their medications following relief of symptoms. Thirty nine (23%) of the respondents thought that TB could lead to infertility and 66 (38.8%) believed that there were reduced chances of getting married following infection. CONCLUSION: Misconceptions concerning TB are common in Pakistani patients. Lack of knowledge on Tuberculosis is alarming.
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