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Duration and associated factors of patient delay during tuberculosis screening in rural Cameroon

Cambanis, A., Ramsay, Andrew, Yassin, Mohammed A. and Cuevas, Luis ORCID: (2007) 'Duration and associated factors of patient delay during tuberculosis screening in rural Cameroon'. Tropical Medicine & International Health, Vol 12, Issue 11, pp. 1309-1314.

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OBJECTIVES (i) To determine patient delay - the time from the onset of symptoms to presentation at a health facility - and its causes in patients undergoing sputum smear examination in Cameroon; and (ii) to compare the results with those of a previous study in Ethiopia.
METHODS A cross-sectional study of 243 consecutive patients using a structured questionnaire.
RESULTS Median (interquartile range) patient delay in Cameroon was 2.0 (1-4) weeks, shorter than the 4.3 (2-13) week delay in Ethiopia. Significantly fewer patients delayed more than 1, 2 and 3 months in Cameroon than in Ethiopia (P < 0.001). Delays in Cameroon were significantly associated with being the main income earner, the belief that TB is stigmatizing, and the use of traditional medicine - the latter being the only factor significant in both studies.
CONCLUSION Engaging traditional healers in TB control programs and reducing stigma through education could help to reduce patient delays, accelerate diagnosis, improve clinical outcomes and reduce disease transmission. These results, when placed in context of national human development indices, suggest that economic development, investment in health care and literacy may all be involved in improving access to TB services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Summary available in English, French and Spanish.
Uncontrolled Keywords: patient delay tuberculosis cameroon ethiopia traditional medicine health system delays control program diagnosis tb area
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
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WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 220 Diagnosis. Prognosis
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Child & Reproductive Health Group
Groups (2002 - 2012) > Clinical Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Ms Julia Martin
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2010 09:38
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2020 10:57


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