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Knowledge and attitudes about latent tuberculosis infection among various racial/ethnic groups in New York City

Hima Muttana, MPH, Paul Colson, PhD, Yael Hirsch-Moverman, MS, Kelly Detsch, MPH, and Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH. Charles P. Felton National Tuberculosis Center, 2238 Fifth Avenue, First Floor, New York, NY 10037, 212-939-8241, pwc2@columbia.edu

Objective: Compare the knowledge and attitudes (K&A) about latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among various racial/ethnic groups prescribed LTBI treatment. Methods: Patients eligible for LTBI treatment were identified at two NYC Chest Clinics and interviewed before initiating treatment. The survey assessed knowledge of transmission, testing, and treatment, as well as attitudinal items such as stigma, self efficacy, and social norms. The overall knowledge score was constructed from the number of correct responses. Results: 220 patients participated: Black (36%), Latino (28%), African (22%), Asian (14%), foreign born (71%). The overall knowledge score was 7.2 out of a possible 11. Knowledge scores varied by race/ethnicity: Africans (6.6), Asians (6.8), Blacks (7.4), Latinos (7.4). Significant differences on knowledge between groups were on transmission items including getting TB from crowded conditions (p<0.001), sharing dishes (p<0.001), need for treatment following a positive TB skin test (p<0.001), and deportation of undocumented TB patients (p=0.026). Among all groups, 71% of patients felt that BCG prevents TB, 41% were embarrassed to have LTBI, and 33% did not believe they have LTBI. Attitudes varied by race/ethnicity in regards to expressing more negative attitudes about treatment. Asians agreed more than other groups that they know more than MD about treatment, appointments are more trouble than they are worth, and taking medicines is a hassle. Conclusions: Significant differences in K&A were evident among various racial/ethnic groups. Information obtained can lead to enhanced educational products/activities, insight into help-seeking behavior, and methods to improve adherence and completion treatment rates among various racial/ethnic groups.

Learning Objectives:

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.

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The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA