Date of Conferral
Tuberculosis (TB) is a deadly, yet curable, infectious disease that continues to be a global health threat. Armenia suffers from rising TB incidence and mortality rates. Armenians living in Los Angeles (LA) County, where TB incidence is higher than national averages, is the second largest Armenian community in the world; therefore implications are that many TB cases are attributed to this group. Using the social ecological model as a theoretical framework, this concurrent, mixed-methods study compared Armenians to non-Armenians in LA County about their knowledge of TB and perceived barriers to seeking and adhering to treatment. Bivariate chi-square analysis from online surveys of 55 Armenians and 72 non-Armenians revealed significant differences in their source of TB knowledge and compliance upon diagnosis. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was completed using the following significant predictor factors: classification, home remedy use, age, education, and primary household language. Parallel, in-depth interviews of 10 Armenians and 8 non-Armenians further corroborated that, although both populations were aware that TB exists, knowledge relating to TB mode of transmission, global incidence, and treatment options was generally lacking. However, the Armenian population was more eager to help others and urge seeking treatment when receiving a positive diagnosis, whereas non-Armenians expressed lack of willingness to physically assist patients. These findings have implications for positive social change, as they can inform the efforts of public health and health care entities in more effective disease management, resource allocation, and patient care. Such efforts should help decrease TB prevalence in the U. S. Armenian population and potentially Armenia.