Tuberculosis Knowledge, Awareness, and Stigma Among African-Americans in Three Southeastern Counties in the USA: a Qualitative Study of Community Perspectives Rachel A. Royce et al. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 1-12.
“To inform strategies to address the tuberculosis (TB) excess among US-born African-Americans, we sought to understand the TB experience in the most highly affected southeastern communities. We conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups in three communities with a TB excess—urban (Georgia and Tennessee) and rural (North Carolina). Participants from five groups provided diverse perspectives—African-Americans: patients with TB disease or latent TB infection (LTBI), or at high risk of contracting TB; and local community leaders and TB program staff. Few differences emerged between sites. Many participants demonstrated low levels of knowledge and awareness and held many misconceptions about TB. Patients expressed a preference for verbal communication of medical information. Patients reported fear of stigmatization and shunning, but few experienced discrimination. Patient trust for TB program staff was high, though community leaders often assumed the opposite. The findings will help guide interventions to improve knowledge and awareness regarding TB, including specific attention to the role of public and private health care providers in dispelling persistent misinformation about TB. The insight from these communities will help build the scientific foundation required to effectively eliminate health inequities.”