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Social support received by multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients and related factors: a cross-sectional study in Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China

Authors Chen B, Peng Y, Zhou L, Chai C, Yeh H, Chen S, Wang F, Zhang M, He T, Wang X

Received 2 February 2016

Accepted for publication 17 April 2016

Published 13 June 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1063—1070


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Bin Chen,1 Yin Peng,1 Lin Zhou,1 Chengliang Chai,1 Hui-Chi Yeh,2 Songhua Chen,1 Fei Wang,1 Mingwu Zhang,1 Tieniu He,1 Xiaomeng Wang1

1Department of Tuberculosis Control and Prevention, Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Politics & International Relations, Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the social support received by patients diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China and the factors that may have influenced it.
Methods: A total of 220 MDR-TB patients participated in the questionnaire-based survey, and the data from 212 valid questionnaires were analyzed. The respondents reported their sociodemographic status, disease features, and attitudes toward the disease. The social support rating scale was used to measure the patients’ social support scores. An Independent Samples t-test, one-way analysis of variance, and a multiple linear regression model were used to analyze the related factors for the social support scores.
Result: The average social support score of each MDR-TB patient was 32.56±7.86. Participants who were single, widowed or divorced, retired, and had fewer family members and lower family income were found to have lower social support scores. Participants unwilling to disclose their disease tended to have less social support (31.59<34.23, P=0.010). Participants who perceived great help from health care workers reported higher social support rating scale scores than those who perceived no help (35.36>29.89, P=0.014).
Conclusion: MDR-TB patients in Zhejiang Province were shown to have a low level of social support. Patients who were not married, had smaller families, and lower family income received less social support, suggesting that family harmony could be an important source of social support. Patients’ self-isolation may contribute to a decrease in the amount of support they receive from their surroundings. Health care organizations need to offer more social support to MDR-TB patients.

Keywords: multidrug-resistant TB, social support, factors

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