Health care workers' gender bias in testing could contribute to missed tuberculosis among women in South Africa


Smith, A; Burger, R; Claassens, M; Ayles, H; Godfrey-Faussett, P; Beyers, N; (2016) Health care workers' gender bias in testing could contribute to missed tuberculosis among women in South Africa. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease, 20 (3). pp. 350-6. ISSN 1027-3719 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5588/ijtld.15.0312

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Abstract

: Eight communities with high tuberculosis (TB) prevalence, Western Cape, South Africa.<br/> : To identify sex differences in TB health-seeking behaviour and diagnosis in primary health care facilities and how this influences TB diagnosis.<br/> : We used data from a prevalence survey among 30,017 adults conducted in 2010 as part of the Zambia, South Africa Tuberculosis and AIDS Reduction (ZAMSTAR) trial.<br/> : A total of 1670 (5.4%) adults indicated they had a cough of ⩾2 weeks, 950 (56.9%) of whom were women. Women were less likely to report a cough of ⩾2 weeks (5.1% vs. 6.4%, P < 0.001), but were more likely to seek care for their cough (32.6% vs. 26.9%, P = 0.012). Of all adults who sought care, 403 (80.0%) sought care for their cough at a primary health care (PHC) facility (79.0% women vs. 81.4% men, P = 0.511). Women were less likely to be asked for a sputum sample at the PHC facility (63.3% vs. 77.2%, P = 0.003) and less likely to have a positive sputum result (12.6% vs. 20.7%, P = 0.023).<br/> : The attainment of sex equity in the provision of TB health services requires adherence to testing protocols. Everyone, irrespective of sex, who seeks care for a cough of ⩾2 weeks should be tested.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: TB Centre
PubMed ID: 27046716
Web of Science ID: 371192300014
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2535734

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