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Minnery M.,University of Queensland | Contreras C.,Socios en Salud Surcusal Peru | Perez R.,Direccion de Salud V Lima Ciudad | Solorzano N.,Direccion de Salud V Lima Ciudad | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Introduction:Tuberculosis, reported as the second most common infectious cause of death worldwide, is a key mortality contributor in developing countries and globally. The disease is endemic in Peru and while relative success was achieved during the 1990s in its control, this slowed as new complications, such as multi drug resistant TB arose. Health centre workers participating in the national DOTS program, create the front-line TB work-force in Peru meaning their knowledge and attitudes about the disease are key in its control.Methods:A Spanish language, multiple choice knowledge and attitudes survey was designed based on previous successful studies and the national Peruvian TB control guidelines. It was applied to two health networks in Lima, Peru amongst 301health workers participating in the national TB control program from 66 different health centres. The study results were analysed to test mean knowledge scores amongst different groups, overall gaps in key areas of TB treatment and control knowledge, and attitudes towards the disease and the national TB control program.Results:A mean knowledge score of 10.1 (+/- 1.7) out of 15 or 67.3% correct was shown. Demographics shown to have an effect on knowledge score were age and level of education. Major knowledge gaps were noted primarily in themes relating to treatment and diagnostics. Greater community involvement including better patient education about TB was seen as important in implementing the national TB control program. Participants were in disagreement about the current distribution of health resources throughout the study area.Discussion Serious knowledge gaps were identified from the survey; these reflect findings from a previous study in Lima and other studies from TB endemic areas throughout the world. Understanding these gaps and observations made by front-line TB workers in Lima may help to improve the national TB control program and other control efforts globally. © 2013 Minnery et al.

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