An exploration of disease awareness among tuberculosis patients: The empirical link between attitude and self-preventive care
Introduction: The prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) remains alarmingly high in developing countries, including Malaysia. Recognised as the leading global infectious disease, untreated TB can be fatal. TB is easily spread through the air, and any close contact with a TB patient can put others at risk. This study therefore aimed to investigate the level of awareness of TB among TB patients and how their attitudes affect self-preventive healthcare.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted using a validated self-administered questionnaire at 18 hospitals in six states of Malaysia, namely, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kelantan, Sabah, and Sarawak in 2015. The study sample comprised 1600 TB patients who were randomly selected using data obtained from the Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia. A total of 1368 of the completed questionnaires were considered usable and included in the statistical analysis.
Results: Overall, the level of TB awareness was found to be high, and the respondents possessed positive attitudes towards TB and health-seeking behaviours. Self-preventive care among the TB patients was determined as being at a moderate level. With regard to contact with others, the patients were more comfortable around their families than their friends and neighbours.
Conclusions: More health education programmes are recommended to cultivate positive attitudes towards TB, to encourage communities to have a better understanding of TB, and to create awareness among patients of the proper ways to practice self-preventive care.
Copyright (c) 2020 Khairiah Salwa Mokhtar, Nurulhasanah Abdul Rahman, Nur Hairani Abd Rahman
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