Background/purpose: There is little understanding of the depth of knowledge of health workers involved in tuberculosis (TB) control programs, and even less is known about health workers attaching stigma to TB patients. This study surveyed health workers enrolled in TB training workshops prior to the execution of the directly observed treatment, short course (DOTS) program.
Methods: All participants attended the training course and completed structured questionnaires before (pre-test) and after training (post-test). The questionnaires were collected immediately following completion and the scores were analyzed.
Results: Pair comparison of knowledge scores revealed that all participants made statistically significant improvements in level of TB knowledge, except those who had a history of TB (p = 0.331). Pair comparison of stigmatization scores revealed a reduction in stigmatization, with the DOTS workers attaching less stigma to TB patients. After training, caregivers, including women (p = 0.012), public health workers (p = 0.028), 40-49-year-old subjects (p = 0.035), those with an education of < 12 years (p = 0.024), those who had been a volunteer (p = 0.018), and those who had a history of TB and those who did not (p = 0.034, p = 0.036), were significantly less likely to stigmatize patients. TB knowledge was not found to be significantly correlated with stigmatization (pre-test, p = 0.298; post-test, p = 0.821).
Conclusion: Training workshops in TB control were effective for promotion of knowledge and elimination of stigmatization in first-line caregivers. DOTS workers attached less stigma to TB patients than public health workers, and older workers who had been volunteers attached the least stigma.