|Individual, household and community level factors associated with keeping tuberculosis status secret in Ghana|
||BMC Public Health, 16:1196; DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3842-y
In tuberculosis (TB) control, early disclosure is recommended for the purposes of treatment as well as a means of reducing or preventing person-to-person transmission of the bacteria. However, disclosure maybe avoided as a means of escaping stigma, and possible discrimination. This study aimed at providing insights into factors associated with intentions of Ghanaians to keep positive TB diagnosis in their families’ a secret.
The paper was based on data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Descriptive statistics of proportions with Chi-square test and binary logistic regression were used to identify individual, household and community level factors that predicted the outcome variable (keeping TB secret).
Women were more inclined (33%) than men (25%) to keep TB in the family a secret. Views about keeping TB secret declined with age for both sexes. For women, higher education had a positive association with whether TB in the family would be kept a secret or not but the same was not observed for men. In a multivariable regression model, the strongest predictor of keeping TB secret was whether the respondent would keep HIV secret, and this was uniform among women (OR?=?6.992, p?0.001) and men (OR?=?9.870, p?0.001).
Unwillingness towards disclosing TB status in Ghana is associated with varied socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, which may be driven by fears of stigma and discrimination. Addressing TB-related stigma and discrimination can enhance positive attitudes towards TB disclosure. For an infectious disease such as TB, openness towards status disclosure is important for public health.
Keywords: Tuberculosis status, Secret, Disclosure, Ghana