BACKGROUND: Early presentation to healthcare facilities is critical for early diagnosis and treatment of TB. We studied self-reported time to care-seeking from the onset of TB symptoms among primary healthcare clinic (PHC) attendees in Limpopo Province, South Africa.METHODS: We used data from participants enrolled in a cluster-randomized trial of TB case finding in 56 PHC clinics across two health districts. We fitted log-normal accelerated failure time regression models and we present time ratios (TRs) for potential risk factors.RESULTS: We included 2,160 participants. Among the 1,757 (81%) diagnosed with active TB, the median time to care-seeking was 30 days (IQR 14-60); adults sought care later than children/adolescents (adjusted TR aTR 1.47, 95% CI 1.10-1.96). Among those not diagnosed with TB, the median was 14 days (IQR 7-60); being HIV-positive (aTR 1.57, 95% CI 1.03-2.40); having less than grade 8 education and currently smoking were associated with longer time to care-seeking. In the combined analysis, living with HIV and having underlying active TB was associated with faster care-seeking (TB status x HIV interaction: TR 0.68, 95% CI 0.48-0.96).CONCLUSION: Delay in care-seeking was associated with age, lower education and being a current smoker. TB awareness campaigns targeting these population groups may improve care-seeking behavior and reduce community TB transmission.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine