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Risk Factors associated with delays in seeking treatment and diagnosis of tuberculosis patients at dots center of a tertiary care institute in Himachal Pradesh

 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar Barwal,
Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_76_20

Background: Delays in diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) is still a problem at all levels of health care. Understanding the etiology of these delays is essential for all stakeholders involved in TB control. This study was done to find the delays related to health-care seeking behavior, diagnosis, and major contributors to such delays among newly diagnosed patients of TB. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from August 1, 2018, to July 2019 among the patients of TB diagnosed at Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla. A consecutive sample of 105 patients was enrolled for the study. Newly diagnosed cases aged 18 years and above were included in the study. Prevalence ratio with 95% confidence interval was calculated for risk factors associated with the identified delays. Results: At the patient level around 55% reported a delay of more than 14 days in seeking care with a median delay of 45 days (interquartile range [IQR] of 30–60 days). Nearly 67% patients were found to have a diagnostic delay of more than 7 days at the health-care provider level (Median 30 days; IQR 12.5–54.7 days). Delayed initiation of treatment after 7 days of diagnosis was found in 6.6% cases (Median 10 days; IQR 8–15 days) and all of these were patients of extra pulmonary TB. Delay was significantly associated (P = 0.01) with patients who travelled <5 km to reach the health facility. Conclusion: Inter-sectoral coordination, refresher trainings of health-care providers, patient education and capacity building for diagnostics at peripheral institutions can reduce delay in diagnosis and treatment of TB.

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    -  Singh R
    -  Dhadwal DS
    -  Mahajan A
    -  Barwal VK
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