Improving knowledge and behaviours related to the cause, transmission and prevention of Tuberculosis and early case detection: a descriptive study of community led Tuberculosis program in Flores, Indonesia
Dewi, C, Barclay, L, Passey, M & Wilson, S 2016, 'Improving knowledge and behaviours related to the cause, transmission and prevention of Tuberculosis and early case detection: a descriptive study of community led Tuberculosis program in Flores, Indonesia', vol. 16.
The community’s awareness of Tuberculosis (TB) and delays in health care seeking remain important issues in Indonesia despite the extensive efforts of community-based TB programs delivered by a non-government organisation (NGO). This study explored the knowledge and behaviours in relation to TB and early diagnosis before and after an asset-based intervention designed to improve these issues.
Six villages in Flores, Indonesia were purposively selected to participate in this study. Three villages served as intervention villages and the other three villages provided a comparison group. Data collection included interviews, group discussions, observations, field notes and audit of records.
In total, 50 participants across six villages were interviewed and three group discussions were conducted in the intervention villages supplemented by 1 – 5 h of observation during monthly visits. Overall, participants in all villages had limited knowledge regarding the cause and transmission of TB before the intervention. The delay in health seeking behaviour was mainly influenced by ignorance of TB symptoms. Health care providers also contributed to delayed diagnosis by ignoring the symptoms of TB suspects at the first visit and failing to examine TB suspects with sputum tests. Stigmatisation of TB patients by the community was reported, although this did not seem to be common. Early case detection was less than 50 % in four of the six villages before the asset-based intervention. Knowledge of TB improved after the intervention in the intervention villages alongside improved education activities. Early case detection also increased in the intervention villages following this intervention. The behaviour changes related to prevention of TB were also obvious in the intervention villages but not the comparison group.
This small project demonstrated that an asset-based intervention can result in positive changes in community’s knowledge and behaviour in relation to TB and early case detection. A continuing education process is like to be required to maintain this outcome and to reach a wider community. Promoting community involvement and local initiatives and engaging health care providers were important elements in the community-based TB program implemented.