Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Tuberculosis among Healthcare Workers in a Rural Hilly Terrain in Jammu
Background: Healthcare workers (HCW) play a pivotal role in success of any public health program especially in case of infectious diseases like tuberculosis where they are the frontline warriors and therefore, should be fully equipped with knowledge and skills required in the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis. Aim and Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of HCWs regarding TB in a remote hilly block of Jammu region. Settings and Design: Community Health Centre (CHC) and Primary Health Centers (PHC). Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Billawar Tehsil, located in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. 93 HCWs working in the CHC and nine PHC were assessed for their knowledge, attitude, and practices by personal interviews using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Statistical Analysis Used: The data were coded and entered into Microsoft Excel sheets. Proportions and percentages of correct/incorrect responses were calculated and presented in appropriate tables. Results: Attitude and practices of HCWs were found to be satisfactory while knowledge was good with regard to identification of symptoms, mode of spread, diagnostic tests, identification of risk factors, and preventive measures to avoid spread of TB to others but was inadequate with regard to the organs commonly involved, contact tracing and the time a patient takes to become non-infective after starting treatment. Regarding attitude and practices 91.4% of the HCWs agreed that they are at a higher risk of acquiring TB and 100% of them agreed that their knowledge should be continuously upgraded in the field of TB. About 92.4% of the HCWs wear a mask to prevent contracting TB at the workplace. About 82.8% of the HCWs claimed to always counsel patients about correct cough etiquette. Conclusion: Training and retraining of all cadres of HCWs about TB periodically, at regular intervals is imperative to improve case finding, diagnosis, and management of tuberculosis patients.
Key words: Tuberculosis, healthcare workers, India, KAP study
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