Health service factors that affect adherence to tuberculosis treatment in Ghana
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

Health service factors that affect adherence to tuberculosis treatment in Ghana

Yakubu Salifu PhD student, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England
Cecilai Eliason Assistant lecturer, department of adult health, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
George Mensah Metropolitan Health Director, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana

Most of the global cases of tuberculosis (TB) are found in Asia and Africa. This is largely due to deficient educational information, myths, beliefs and suboptimal service delivery as a result of inadequate infrastructure. Even though proper treatment can cure TB, bureaucratic difficulties and problems with caring for patients mean procedures to ensure that patients receive and complete treatment may stifle the treatment regimen.

This paper looks at the service factors that affect adherence to TB treatment, while seeking to explore good practices to improve support for patients. It discusses a study that used a qualitative interpretive descriptive design involving interviews across health facilities in one district in Ashanti Region, Ghana. Ten patients were recruited in 2014 and interviewed. They revealed the challenges and facilitators that affected their adherence to their treatment. Three main themes were identified: institutional support, staff attitude and patients’ unmet needs. Staff commitment, proper supervision of TB patients and individualising care encourages adherence, while organisational challenges, poor supervision of patients and unfriendly staff attitudes discourage the continuity of treatment.

Primary Health Care. 28, 2, 27-33. doi: 10.7748/phc.2018.e1312


Peer review

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

Conflict of interest

None declared

Write for us

For information about writing for RCNi journals, contact

For author guidelines, go to

Received: 18 May 2017

Accepted: 03 October 2017

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now