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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2006 Sep;10(9):995-1000.

Health care seeking among individuals with cough and tuberculosis: a population-based study from rural India.

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  • 1Division of International Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.



Ujjain district, Madhya Pradesh, India.


To describe and compare health care seeking among men and women with cough of >3 weeks, with special focus on the utilisation of private and public health care.


A population-based cross-sectional survey including 45 719 individuals aged > or = 15 years.


The prevalence of cough was respectively 2.8% and 1.2% among men and women. The majority of men and women reported seeking health care for their symptoms (69% vs. 71%), but only 23% visited a public provider at some point during their illness. A similar health care seeking pattern was found for patients diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in our survey. No significant differences in health care seeking were found between men and women. Only 13% of those seeking care reported having had a sputum smear examination since the onset of cough. Factors associated with sputum examination were history of TB, haemoptysis and visiting a public provider.


The low utilisation of public health care services and the few sputum examinations reported in this rural Indian setting illustrate the need for improved diagnostic practices as well as involvement of private providers in TB control activities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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