The Tale of Seeking Treatment: A Qualitative Study of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients

Fendy Suhariadi, Rizqy Amelia Zein, Ilham Nur Alfian, Cholichul Hadi

Abstract


Aim: The aims of the study were unravelling patients’ health-seeking behaviour pathways to seek medication in healthcare facilities and key factors that determined patients’ immediacy in seeking medical treatment. Method: By involving 5 pulmonary TB patients who were undertaking treatment at Pegirian Primary Health Centre, Surabaya, Indonesia, the research was carried out using an explorative qualitative research design, and the chosen data collection technique was semi-structured interview. Results: The research findings demonstrated that all participants showed five rather similar health-seeking behaviour sequences, such as: (a) defining symptoms; (b) asking laypeople opinions on symptoms; (c) undertaking non-medical treatment to reduce the symptoms; (d) taking laypeople’s suggestions to visit healthcare facilities into consideration; (e) deciding to undergo treatment process. Several barriers that caused treatment delay were inaccurate symptom definition and poor health-related risk perception. Meanwhile, reinforcing factors were relatives’ appeal to seek treatment, the existence of comorbid/previous diseases, access to healthcare facilities, and increasing perceived severity of the symptoms. Conclusion: Research findings showed that participants performed similar health-seeking pathways. Hindering factors that caused treatment delay were mostly related to cultural-based illness definition and knowledge. Research findings would be potentially beneficial to local primary healthcare for designing interventions that encourage patients to seek professional help and reduce treatment delay.

Keywords


determinant factors, health-seeking behaviour, pulmonary tuberculosis

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