Patients’ perception of the seriousness of TB scourge in Enugu state, Nigeria and the knowledge of who may be at risk: a cross-sectional and exploratory study.
Objetive: To understand Patients’ perception of the seriousness of TB and who may be at risk of contracting the disease in Enugu metropolis, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study and involved the use of the questionnaire in information collection from the respondents on their perception of the seriousness of TB and who may be at risk of contracting the disease in Enugu metropolis. The systematic sampling method was used in patient selection for the study at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) DOTS centre (old site).
Results: A total of one hundred and twenty five respondents were interviewed. Those below (<30) thirty years of age constituted the majority of the respondents 54(43.2%). The result also shows that a high percentage, 114(91.2%) of the respondents perceive TB scourge as being severe in Enugu metropolis and a greater number of the respondents 113(90.4) equally understands who may be at risk of contracting the disease. Even though not significant, the result shows that the higher the educational level of the respondents, the more serious they take the TB scourge(x2 =7.069, p=0.070). Again, the respondents with paid employment 57(98.3%) perceived TB scourge to be very serious (Fishers exact =0.010f). Though, still not significant, the educational level of the respondents was a factor that influenced the perception (X 2 6.973, P=0.073) of who may be at risk of contracting TB, while employment status and marital status did not.
Conclusion: Improving on the perception of the seriousness of any disease and the knowledge of who may be at risk remains a viable option in any disease sensitization and control programme. Information dissemination on TB control and management must accommodate the differences in patient socio-demographic variables.
Key words: Tuberculosis, Patient perception, seriousness, risk factors, Enugu.