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Original Research 
RMJ. 2018; 43(4): 581-585

Awareness About pulmonary tuberculosis among patients visiting a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan

Tahir Iqbal, Zain Rizvi, Haider Bokhary, Junaid Javeed, Asim Ashfaq, Maryam Zahra, Furqan Haider.

Objective: To study patient knowledge of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan.
Methodology: The knowledge of patients concerning pulmonary TB visiting Shifa International Hospital over a period of six months was evaluated by using a pre-validated questionnaire established by the researchers and piloted beforehand. A total of 254 adults were chosen at random and were questioned regarding their knowledge of TB. Patients who had active TB, had a history of TB or were medical professionals were excluded.
Results: Out of 254 subjects, 120 (47.24%) were males and 134 (52.76%) were females. The highest number of participants in order of education were: illiterate (n=53;20.87%), secondary (n=50;19.69%), and lastly bachelors (n=47;18.50%). The highest number of participants in financial categories were in the 10001-20000 range (n=86;33.89%), 5000-10000 range (n=45;17.72%), 20001-30000 range (n=39;15.35%), and >50000 range (n=28;11.02%). There were four main trends observed in this study. The first trend seen was the majority of participants did not consider fever (20.5%) and weight loss (37.8%) significant symptoms of tuberculosis, whereas 72.8% of participants considered blood in cough to be a significant symptom. The second trend was that transmission of TB was considered to be by saliva by lower educated subgroups, whereas it was considered airborne for well-educated subgroups. The third trend showed that as the education status of the patient increased, the participants were able to identity that smoking has a positive association with TB. Lastly, the history of contact with a TB patient was associated with transmission of the disease depending on their level of education.
Conclusion: Our study reinforces the idea that education and socioeconomic settings influence the populationís perceptions and knowledge regarding TB.

Key words: Pakistan, awareness, tuberculosis, knowledge.

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