Socio-economic, gender and health services factors affecting diagnostic delay for tuberculosis patients in urban Zambia

Trop Med Int Health. 2001 Apr;6(4):256-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.2001.00709.x.


In-depth interviews regarding health seeking behaviour were conducted with 202 adults registered with pulmonary tuberculosis at the centralized Chest Clinic in Lusaka, Zambia. The median (mean) diagnostic delay was 8.6 (9) weeks, and was significantly associated with the following factors: female sex, lower education, more than six instances of health-seeking encounters, outpatient diagnosis of tuberculosis, and visiting a private doctor or traditional healer. More effective tuberculosis control interventions require novel methods of accessing women and less educated people. Decentralization of public tuberculosis care and improved integration with private sector health providers may also reduce diagnostic delay.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sex
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / prevention & control*
  • Urban Health
  • Zambia