‘Ghost’ stories: sociocultural factors influencing tuberculosis treatment adherence in Ghana
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‘Ghost’ stories: sociocultural factors influencing tuberculosis treatment adherence in Ghana

Yakubu Salifu School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England
Cecilia Eliason Lecturer, University of Ghana, Ghana, West Africa
George Mensah Metropolitan health director, Accra, Ghana Health Service, Ghana, West Africa

Background Non-adherence to treatment is a major problem in tuberculosis (TB) control and leads to adverse outcomes and increased morbidity and mortality.

Aim To explore the experiences of TB patients taking anti-TB drugs in Ghana to improve treatment adherence and prevent TB.

Method Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted. Participants were asked about their experience of taking anti-TB drugs and factors that affect treatment adherence. These were transcribed and analysed using inductive content analysis. Participants were chosen through purposive sampling.

Findings Three main themes emerged from the data: family support, stigma, beliefs and misconception. Subthemes included emotional support, financial difficulty and myth.

Conclusion Patients who have family support, who are ‘policed’ and reminded to take their drugs at home are likely to adhere to treatment. Traditional beliefs and social stigma can affect medication adherence adversely.

Primary Health Care. 26, 10, 34-41. doi: 10.7748/phc.2016.e1159



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 20 April 2016

Accepted: 01 June 2016