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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

BERALDO, Aline Ale et al. Delay in the search for health services for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.11, pp. 3079-3086. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012001100024.

The scope of this paper is to analyze delays in locating health services for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in Ribeirao Preto in 2009. An epidemiological and cross-sectional study was conducted with 94 TB patients undergoing treatment. A structured questionnaire, based on the Primary Care Assessment Tool adapted for TB care was used. A median (15 days or more) was established to characterize delay in health attendance. Using the Prevalence Ratio, the variables associated with longer delay were identified. The first healthcare services sought were the Emergency Services (ES) (57.5%). The longest period between seeking assistance occurred among males, aged between 50 and 59, who earned less than five minimum wages, had pulmonary TB, were new cases, were not co-infected with TB/HIV, did not consume alcohol, had satisfactory knowledge about TB before diagnosis (with a statistically significant association with delay) and who did not seek healthcare close to home before developing TB. There is a perceived need for training healthcare professionals about the signs and symptoms of the disease, reducing barriers of access to timely diagnosis of TB and widely disseminating it to the community in general.

Keywords : Tuberculosis; Late diagnosis; Access to health services.

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