Socio-demographic determinants of stigma among patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Patients living with tuberculosis (TB) experience significant disruption of their social life and are exposed to stigma and discrimination. This situation impacts on treatment adherence by individual patients and on disease control especially in developing nations. Different aetiological propositions have been propounded, including the relationship of tuberculosis with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Objectives: We sought to evaluate self-reported stigma experience among TB patients in Lagos and examine its sociodemographic determinants. Method: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study, recruiting 205 patients on treatment at two government-owned referral centres for tuberculosis, using self-administered questionnaires to collect each respondent’s data. Result: Eighteen percent reported a previous stigma experience. Stigma experience was observed to be significantly determined by age, low socio-economic status, level of education below secondary level, disclosure of status, history of weight loss, previous smoking and alcohol history. Also, patients unable to work on clinic days were more likely to experience stigma. Sexs, religion, marital status and ethnicity were not significant determinants. Conclusion: Experience of stigma among patients with tuberculosis is common and may adversely affect treatment adherence. Healthcare workers and policy makers need to pay closer attention to the identified determinants for effective tuberculosis control.
Keywords: Tuberculosis, AIDS, stigma, disclosure, weight loss