Educational intervention and the health seeking attitude and adherence to therapy by tuberculosis patients from an urban slum in lagos Nigeria

S O Olayemi, I A Oreagba, A Akinyede, G E Adepoju
Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal 2009, 16 (4): 231-5

BACKGROUND: Community based participation has been advocated by a number of international health organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO) as a solution to the problems of poor patient adherence and default from Directly Observed Treatment Short course [DOTs] programmes for tuberculosis control.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of a health educational intervention on the management of tuberculosis in relation to the outcome and adherence to therapy by Tuberculosis patients residing in a densely populated urban slum in Lagos, Nigeria.

METHODS: The study was conducted using forty tuberculosis patients (confirmed by acid fast bacilli positive sputum), and selected randomly from those who attend the Mainland Hospital in Lagos. They were divided into two groups of twenty each made up of those to be provided with education intervention at the community level and the control groups followed up at the hospital level only. An initial assessment of the knowledge about tuberculosis management was done through a structured questionnaire for both groups. This was followed by continuous health talks for intervention group in form of neighbourhood self help approach.

RESULTS: The results showed that the intervention had a significant impact on the understanding of disease and its management (X(2) =11.842 p<0.05), DOTS and increased awareness (X(2) =17.289 p<0.05, X(2) =10.461 p<0.05), knowing the side effects of anti-TB drugs (X(2) =10.157 p<0.05), the meaning of resistance to anti-Tuberculosis drugs (X(2) =19.798 p<0.05, X(2) =11.192 p<0.05) and importance of contact tracing (X(2) =32.4 p<0.05, X(2) =3.360 p<0.05).

CONCLUSION: An effective health education is therefore beneficial for TB control in Nigeria.

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