Resident doctors' attitudes toward tuberculosis patients

Post Date: 
2017-04-15
Publication: 
Indian Journal of Tuberculosis
Clinical Site(s): 
Summary: 

Background:
The attitude of the resident doctors toward tuberculosis (TB) patients can affect their treatment seeking behavior, compliance to treatment as well as reinforce the stigma attached to the disease by the society at large.

Aims:
To assess the attitudes of resident medical doctors toward TB patients.

Material and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted among postgraduate resident medical doctors at B.J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune in September 2014. The background characteristics and attitudes were assessed using a semi-structured questionnaire. The responses were analyzed using Chi-square/Fishers exact test and calculating odds ratio (OR).

Results:
Of the 212 resident doctors who responded to the question on attitudes, 132 (62%) see TB patients on a daily basis, 40 (19%) of the resident doctors had attended a training program on TB, and 99 (47%) respondents knew of a colleague with TB. Only 104 (49%) of the residents reported feeling compassion for and the desire to help TB patients. The residents who had attended a training program in TB were three times more likely to report compassion and a desire to help TB patients than those who had not undergone such training [28/40 vs 76/172; p=0.005; OR=2.95, 95% CI (1.33-6.61)]. Compared to residents who did not know of a colleague with TB, residents who knew of a colleague with TB were nearly three times more likely to avoid managing TB patients or fear them and think they may cause infection [33/99 vs 17/113; p=0.002; OR=2.82, 95% CI (1.39-5.76)].

Conclusion:
The feeling of fear, lack of compassion, and tendency to avoid TB patients reported by 51% of the patients is a cause of concern. Addressing the knowledge gaps through training programs and ensuring safe working environment will make residents more supportive and compassionate toward TB patients which will contribute to TB control.

Citation: 
Pardeshi GS, Kadam D, Chandanwale A, Bollinger R, Deluca A. Resident doctors' attitudes toward tuberculosis patients. Indian J Tuberc. 2017;64(2):89-92. PMID: 28410704.
Collaborators: 

Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India