Lived experiences of men and women diagnosed with tuberculosis at a rural community in South Africa
The study was qualitative and phenomenological, and aimed at exploring and describing experiences of living with tuberculosis. It took place in Limpopo Province of South Africa amongst purposively selected people living with tuberculosis. Thirty-six were eligible but eight participated due to data saturation. In-depth interviews were conducted in Sepedi. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and translated to English. The researchers analysed data independently, using Tesch’s method and agreed on the themes. They ensured trustworthiness and observed research ethics. Four females and four males aged between 20 and 68 years participated. They shared diverse experiences of living with tuberculosis, presented in four themes and six sub-themes. They include experiencing disease stigma, social support, physical and emotional effects of tuberculosis, and treatment side effects. As service delivery institutions, clinics should identify and explore experiences of patients who are customers. Knowledge of these experiences should enable healthcare managers to deliver responsive healthcare services.
Key Words: Patient experiences, Tuberculosis, responsive health services, social support, disease stigma.