Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
JOB, José Roberto Pretel Pereira et al. Information relating to health before the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis and time lag before beginning of treatment in patients enrolled at health center in S. Paulo, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1986, vol.20, n.1, pp. 21-25. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101986000100002.
Pulmonary tuberculosis still remains a serious public health problem in Brazil. The National Tuberculosis Control Program has as its aim the interruption of the chains of transmition by diagnosis and, consequently, by early treatment. It is known that specific chemotherapy reduces the degree of contagion in the first two weeks of treatment. The sooner the health program detects and begins therapy, the bigger average number of patients who will participate in it. With the intention of providing information to increase efficiency in detecting tuberculosis and contagious cases it was collected data relating to the patients' health before diagnosis and also to the time lag between this diagnosis and the beginning of specific treatment. Fifty out-patients (50) suffering from tuberculosis of the lungs were questioned, during treatment, for information relating to the period proceeding diagnosis. Information sought covered: symptomatology before contamination, place and number of consultations, habits time elapsed between the occurrence of first symptoms and first visit to the physician, lapse of time between the occurrence of first symptoms and the beginning of treatment, knowledge about symptomatology of the disease and lapse of time between the first appearance at the health clinic and the beginning of treatment. The importance of the factors: respiratory symptomatology, the considerable time lapse before looking for a physician and lack of information about the disease was observed. Despite the dedication of the medical and paramedical services there was delay in detecting the sick person within the community.
Keywords : Tuberculosis, pulmonary [therapy]; Tuberculosis, pulmonary [prevention and control]; Community health services [administration].