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Tuberculosis treatment adherence in Ghana: Patients’ perspectives of barriers and enablers to treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>NUMID HORIZON: An International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)11-22
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Tuberculosis (TB) treatment continues to be a daunting task in most low and middle-income countries due to cultural beliefs held by people and inadequate information about the importance of treatment adherence in the community. This study explored the patient-related factors influencing tuberculosis treatment adherence, with a focus on patient-related factors affecting such treatment adherence. Using a semi-structured interview guide, 10 participants (Five males, five females) were engaged in in-depth individual interviews. Miles and Huberman’s (1994) content analysis approach was used to analyse data. Three main themes emerged from the synthesised data: Knowledge on TB and its treatment, challenges associated with TB treatment and motivating factors to adherence. Patients’ belief about the cause of TB such as spiritual forces, poor knowledge about treatment duration and consequences of defaulting, and the side effect of drugs especially when taken with little or no food were found to be critical factors that negatively impacted treatment adherence. The desire to attain one’s ‘normal self’, making up mind to complete treatment and recognition of symptom improvement following the commencement of treatment supported adherence to TB treatment. Continuous education on TB and counselling during treatment are vital interventions that need sustained integration in TB prevention and adherence programmes. Maintaining
continuous multi-level support for clients living with TB is critical for TB prevention and control, and adherence to full treatment course.