Knowledge and attitude regarding tuberculosis in a rural area of eastern Maharashtra: an implication for advocacy and communication strategy planning in the national program

Umakant G. Shidam, Manoj R. Talapalliwar, Subhash B. Thakre


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in India. Adequate and timely knowledge about tuberculosis is associated with positive attitude towards tuberculosis, which can improve both health seeking behavior and adherence to treatment. The study was planned with the objective of determining the Knowledge and Attitude regarding tuberculosis among rural population of eastern Maharashtra, India.

Methods: A community based cross sectional study was carried in rural area of eastern Maharashtra using a semi structured, pretested interview schedule. A total 225 adult population aged 18 years and above, who are residing in the field practice area were selected from sampled households using systematic random sampling. Data collection was done by house-to-house survey.

Results: Out of 225 respondents, 220 (97.8%) had heard about TB. Cough as a major symptom of TB was known to 80.5% of study subjects. Among the subjects surveyed, 84.5% of respondents were aware of the mode of transmission of TB from one person to another. More than half of respondents were aware of sputum examination as a diagnostic investigation. Three fourth of the subjects reported that TB could be treated by modern medicine. However only 22.2% of them were known to BCG immunization as means of prevention for tuberculosis. Tendency to discriminate TB patients was evident as 53% respondents opined to isolate TB patients from the family and 37.7% opined to avoid sharing food with these patients.

Conclusions: Although the study revealed adequate knowledge about nearly every aspect of tuberculosis; there are few myths about causes, symptoms, transmission, and TB prevention. There is a great need to improve awareness in illiterate individuals and females.


Attitude, Knowledge, Rural, Tuberculosis

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