FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO TREATMENT DELAY AMONG PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS PATIENTS IN MELAKA
Introduction: Early diagnosis of tuberculosis and prompt treatment are essentials components in controlling tuberculosis effectively. Delay in diagnosis will lead to delay in treatment and this may increase the infectivity in the community, worsen the disease state and increase the risk of mortality.
Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the proportion of treatment delay and its predictors among PTB patients in Melaka.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among PTB patients in Melaka from April until May 2018. A total of 184 eligible respondents were included in this study. They were interviewed by using a pre-tested and validated questionnaire adopted from World Health Organization (WHO). Data were analyzed by using SPSS version 23. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis was used to assess the significant contributing factors, and a multivariate logistic regression analysis to assess the relative impact of predictors of treatment delay. P-values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: Total of 122 (66.3%) out of 184 PTB patients had treatment delay. The median duration of treatment delay was 30 days. In multivariable analysis, co-morbidities (AOR 3.66, 95% CI: 1.702, 7.872), more than two health visits (AOR 5.938, 95% CI: 2.602, 13.552) and time to reach health facility of more than 15 minutes (AOR 3.352, 95% CI: 1.491, 7.537) were significant predictors of treatment delay.
Conclusion: Based on the results, the proportion of treatment delay among PTB patients in Melaka was higher than found in other studies in Malaysia. The predictors were co-morbidities, more health visits, and longer time taken to reach health facility.Keywords: Pulmonary tuberculosis, treatment delay, factors contributing.