A sociological study on stigma among TB patients in Delhi

Indian J Tuberc. 2010 Jan;57(1):12-8.


Setting: The study was carried out at Delhi State, New Delhi.

Objectives: 1. To assess the effect of social stigma in TB patient's treatment, their personality, emotions, feelings, changes in their thinking process and behaviour of their family members, friends. 2. To study the relationship of gender and to what extent social stigma affects their lives.

Design: It was a prospective study. A total of 1977 newly diagnosed and registered cases under Revised National TB Control Programme for treatment during the period of March 2009 to May 2009 were included in the study. Out of a total population of 170 lacs, a proportion of 31 lacs of Delhi, distributed among five chest clinics of Delhi, comprised the study population. All the patients were interviewed according to a pre-designed & pre-tested questionnaire after taking informed consent of the patients. The data was collected and analysed after processing into MS excel sheets for statistical analysis.

Results: There was an immense stigma observed at society level with 60% of the patients hiding their disease (p<0.05) from friends and neighbours. Stigma was observed more among middle and upper middle class when compared to lower middle class and lower class (p<0.05). Gender-wise further it was observed that stigma was more among females (p<0.05) than in males.

Conclusion: The study has demonstrated that despite good performance of Revised National TB Control Programme the stigma in tuberculosis still remains a problem and we need to supplement the efforts in advocacy, communication and social mobalization for reducing the stigma problem among TB patients in effective control of tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Peritonitis, Tuberculous / psychology*
  • Prejudice*
  • Social Isolation
  • Young Adult