Background: Care-seeking behaviour of individuals with TB symptoms is a critical factor in early detection and treatment. Thorough understanding of determinants of the care-seeking process helps TB programme managers to improve TB case finding. The aim of this study was to assess determinants of care-seeking behaviour among patients with suspected TB at the population level.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adults with cough for >2 weeks. Data on sociodemographics, onset of TB symptoms, TB knowledge, health facility visited and duration of each visit were collected.
Results: Of the 746 respondents interviewed, approximately 10% had not yet sought care. Of those who sought care, less than one-half presented directly to medical healthcare providers. Being female and having multiple symptoms were associated with care-seeking action. The duration of patient delay (i.e. time between onset of symptoms and visiting a health provider) was relatively short, which may be due to the availability of an extended network of healthcare providers in Jogjakarta Province. Being male, a student or self-employed were associated with longer delay in presentation.
Conclusions: Patient delay was relatively short. Efforts need to be focused on encouraging individuals with suspected TB to seek appropriate services through health education and quality improvement of health providers.

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International Health
Department of Public Health

Ahmad, R., Richardus, J. H., & de Vlas, S. (2012). Care-seeking behaviour among individuals with TB symptoms in Jogjakarta province, Indonesia. International Health, 5(1), 51–57. doi:10.1093/inthealth/ihs002