Health service factors that affect adherence to tuberculosis treatment in Ghana
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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

Received: 18 May 2017

Accepted: 03 October 2017

Published in print: 23 February 2018

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