Tuberculosis knowledge among patients in out-patient settings in Split, Croatia

A Jurcev Savicevic, S Popovic-Grle, S Milovac, I Ivcevic, M Vukasovic, V Viali, K Zivkovic
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2008, 12 (7): 780-5

SETTING: Patients of five randomly selected general practitioners in Split, Croatia.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate knowledge about tuberculosis (TB) and to identify target groups for information, education and communication activities.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey based on a structured questionnaire using a convenience sampling among subjects aged > or =18 years. Data were stratified by sex, age group, educational background, personal monthly income and contact with TB patients. TB knowledge scores were determined from the number of correct answers to 12 selected questions.

RESULTS: The questionnaires were completed by 386 subjects. No statistically significant differences were observed between females and males with respect to age, educational background or contact with TB patients, except for personal income, which was higher in males (P < 0.001). The mean TB knowledge score was 9.4 +/- 1.98 (range 1-12, median 10). A low score was associated with the youngest age group, 18-29 years (P = 0.018), and with <12 years of education (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSION: Educational background and age groups of respondents were important determinants of TB knowledge. Although the study sample showed a satisfactory level of knowledge, the results demonstrated several misconceptions that need to be clarified. Uncertainties in core TB knowledge need to be addressed choosing less educated and young people as specific target groups.

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