The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3074.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 9

Abstract #66088

Influence of cultural health beliefs on tuberculosis knowledge and health seeking behavior

Lauren B. Moschetta, MA1, Rajita R. Bhavaraju, MPH, CHES1, Gabrielle Benenson, MPH2, Nick DeLuca, MA3, and Maria Fraire, MPH3. (1) Education and Training, New Jersey Medical School National Tuberculosis Center, 225 Warren Street, 1st floor, west wing, Newark, NJ 07101, (973) 972-1261,, (2) Division of Tuberculosis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd., NE, Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333, (3) Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd., NE, Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333

Health education research demonstrates that materials targeted to specific populations effectively change health behaviors in those populations. As U.S. tuberculosis rates remain highest in foreign-born populations, the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials becomes more apparent. In response, NJMS NTBC conducted 8 population-based focus groups in 5 geographically diverse regions of the U.S. including Newark, NJ, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA and Austin and Edinburg, TX.

Standardized focus group methods and recruitment materials were used with 64 subjects. Focus groups were conducted with Filipino, Mexican, Vietnamese and English-speaking TB patients and non-patients. TB related discussion topics included: perceptions of illness healing and treatment, tuberculosis knowledge, impact of diagnosis, contact investigation, treatment adherence, latent TB infection, mantoux tuberculin skin testing, barriers to health seeking behavior, and preferred educational materials format.

We confirmed that cultural beliefs and issues heavily impact perceptions of TB. This leads to gaps in knowledge about the mechanism of TB, thereby having implications for treatment adherence. The following were found as common beliefs among foreign-born participants 1) multifactorial theories of causation and prevention of TB 2) TB infection as endemic to certain populations 3) confusion between TB infection vs. TB disease 4) difficulty differentiating between vaccinations and diagnostic tests 5) TB medications causing "hot" side effects.

Understanding health beliefs and related behaviors is necessary for developing comprehensive culturally appropriate TB education materials. Providing congruence between health beliefs and expected health promoting behaviors may lead to improved patient adherence and satisfaction.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tuberculosis, Culture

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Bridging the Cultural Divide

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA