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Gender-related barriers and delays in accessing tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment services - Part 2: a systematic review of qualitative studies
Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant global public health problem with known gender-related (male versus female) disparities. We reviewed the qualitative evidence (written/spoken narrative) for gender-related differences limiting TB service access from symptom onset to treatment initiation. Methods. Following a systematic process, we searched 12 electronic databases, included qualitative studies that assessed gender differences in accessing TB diagnostic and treatment services, abstracted data, and assessed study validity. Using a modified “inductive coding” system, we synthesized emergent themes within defined barriers and delays limiting access at the individual and provider/system levels and examined gender-related differences.
Results: Among 13,448 studies, 28 studies were included. All were conducted in developing countries and assessed individual-level barriers; 11 (39%) assessed provider/system-level barriers, 18 (64%) surveyed persons with suspected or diagnosed TB, and 7 (25%) exclusively surveyed randomly sampled community members or health care workers. Each barrier affected both genders but had gender-variable nature and impact reflecting sociodemographic themes. Women experienced financial and physical dependence, lower general literacy, and household stigma, whereas men faced work-related financial and physical barriers and community-based stigma. Conclusions. In developing countries, barriers limiting access to TB care have context-specific gender-related differences that can inform integrated interventions to optimize TB services.
Krishnan L, Akande T, Shankar A, McIntire K, Gounder CR, Gupta A, Yang W-T. Gender-related barriers and delays in accessing tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment services - Part 2: a systematic review of qualitative studies. Tuberc Res Treat.2014;doi:10.1155/2014/215059.