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Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the main causes of death in developing countries. Awareness and perception of risk of TB could influence early detection, diagnosis and care seeking at treatment centers. However, perceptions about TB are influenced by sources of information.
This study aimed to determine the association between multiple sources of information, and perceptions of risk of TB among adults aged 18-49 years.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ntcheu district in Malawi. A total of 121 adults were sampled in a three-stage simple random sampling technique. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Perceptions of risk were measured using specific statements that reflected common myths and misconceptions. Low risk perception implied a person having strong belief in myths and misconceptions about TB and high risk perception meant a person having no belief in myths or misconceptions and demonstrated understanding of the disease.
Females were more likely to have low risk perceptions about TB compared to males (67.7% vs. 32.5%, p = 0.01). The higher the household asset index the more likely an individual had higher risk perceptions about TB (p = 0.006). The perception of risk of TB was associated with sources of information (p = 0.03). Use of both interpersonal communication and mass media was 2.8 times more likely to be associated with increased perception of risk of TB (Odds Ratio [OR] = 2.8; 95% Confidence interva1[CI]: 3.1-15. 6; p = 0.01). After adjusting for sex and asset ownership, use of interpersonal communication and mass media were more likely to be associated with higher perception of risk of TB (OR, 2.0; 95% CI: 1.65-10.72; p = 0.003) compared with interpersonal communication only (OR 1.6, 95%; CI: 1.13-8.98, p = 0.027).
The study found that there was association between multiple sources of information, and higher perceptions of risk of TB among adults aged 18-49 years.
The Association between Multiple Sources of Information and Risk Perceptions of Tuberculosis, Ntcheu District, Malawi
Robert Chizimba, 1 , 3 Nicola Christofides, 3 Tobias Chirwa, 3 Isaac Singini, 4 Chineme Ozumba, 2 Simon Sikwese, 3 , 5 Hastings T. Banda, 6 Rhoda Banda, 7 Henry Chimbali, 8 Bagrey Ngwira, 9 Alister Munthali, 10 and Peter Nyasulu 2 , 3 ,* Pere-Joan Cardona, Academic Editor