Date of Conferral
Cheryl L. Anderson
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in many parts of the world. Nigeria is one of the 30 countries in the world that has the highest burden of TB. Private medical practitioners in Nigeria play an important role in health care delivery. Motivating them to adhere to TB treatment guidelines in managing persons suspected of having TB or diagnosed with the disease is one of the strategies employed by the National Tuberculosis Program to Reduce the Burden of TB. Few studies were identified which used qualitative study approaches to study the perceptions of these practitioners towards the TB treatment guidelines. The overarching question asked the study participants centered on eliciting their perceptions towards the guidelines. Guided by the theory of planned behavior, this qualitative narrative study explored the perceptions of private medical practitioners in Anambra State, Nigeria towards the Nigerian National TB Treatment Guidelines. To elicit these perceptions, in-depth interviews were conducted on 11 purposefully selected practitioners. Data analysis comprised coding of data obtained and extracting themes from them. The QSR Nvivo 11 helped to manage data. The main finding of the study was that the practitioners perceived the treatment guidelines to be adequate to meet most of their needs in the diagnosis and treatment of TB patients. Other key findings were that provision of financial incentives and regular training will motivate collaboration with the TB program and adherence to the guidelines. Positive social change may occur by insight being gained into how private medical practitioners view the treatment guidelines and how this knowledge will lead to improved management of TB patients. This may in turn result in the reduction in the morbidity and mortality associated with TB in Nigeria.