The Association between Multiple Sources of Information and Risk Perceptions of Tuberculosis, Ntcheu District, Malawi

Abstract

BACKGROUND Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the main causes of death in developing countries. Awareness and perception of risk of TB could influence early detection, diagnosis and care seeking at treatment centers. However, perceptions about TB are influenced by sources of information. AIM This study aimed to determine the association between multiple sources of information, and perceptions of risk of TB among adults aged 18-49 years. METHODS A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ntcheu district in Malawi. A total of 121 adults were sampled in a three-stage simple random sampling technique. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Perceptions of risk were measured using specific statements that reflected common myths and misconceptions. Low risk perception implied a person having strong belief in myths and misconceptions about TB and high risk perception meant a person having no belief in myths or misconceptions and demonstrated understanding of the disease. RESULTS Females were more likely to have low risk perceptions about TB compared to males (67.7% vs. 32.5%, p = 0.01). The higher the household asset index the more likely an individual had higher risk perceptions about TB (p = 0.006). The perception of risk of TB was associated with sources of information (p = 0.03). Use of both interpersonal communication and mass media was 2.8 times more likely to be associated with increased perception of risk of TB (Odds Ratio [OR] = 2.8; 95% Confidence interva1[CI]: 3.1-15. 6; p = 0.01). After adjusting for sex and asset ownership, use of interpersonal communication and mass media were more likely to be associated with higher perception of risk of TB (OR, 2.0; 95% CI: 1.65-10.72; p = 0.003) compared with interpersonal communication only (OR 1.6, 95%; CI: 1.13-8.98, p = 0.027). CONCLUSION The study found that there was association between multiple sources of information, and higher perceptions of risk of TB among adults aged 18-49 years.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122998

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@inproceedings{Chizimba2015TheAB, title={The Association between Multiple Sources of Information and Risk Perceptions of Tuberculosis, Ntcheu District, Malawi}, author={Robert Chizimba and Nicola J . Christofides and Tobias Freeman Chirwa and Isaac L. Singini and Chineme Ozumba and Simon Sikwese and Hastings Thomas Banda and Rhoda P Banda and Henry Chimbali and Bagrey M.M. Ngwira and Alister C. Munthali and Peter Nyasulu}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2015} }