Health  Vol.9 No.3 , March 2017
Illness Experience in a Very Low Income/Poor District of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Tuberculosis, Medication Adherence and Common Mental Disorders
Abstract: Introduction: Tuberculosis is a global health problem. Improving medication adherence is an important attribute concerning the outcome of tuberculosis treatment. This study investigates illness experience of patients belonging to a low-income district within Manguinhos catchment area. Narrative studies are able to unfold features concerning patient adherence and co-occurrence of depressive symptoms. Methods: Twenty-three patients under treatment were interviewed using McGill Illness Narrative Interview (MINI-McGILL), besides depression screening with “Self-Report Questionnaire-20” (SRQ-20) and “Beck Depression Inventory” (BDI). Results: Explanatory models disregarded airborne microorganism contagion, known but not considered relevant while bohemian or deviant life was rather perceived as a causal model. Patients mentioned contiguous events suggesting pneumonia or influenza misdiagnosis before final tuberculosis diagnosis (testing or suspicion). Therapeutic pathways were erratic, suggesting low literacy level and postponed or inadequate diagnosis accuracy. Emergency units or private services usually stood for primary care units considered first choice by planners. Expressions such as “dreadful/shameful disease” or “very heavy illness” acknowledged stigma. Research data detected the importance of social network role, highlighting the family through financial and affective support. Hopelessness and depression were closely related to illness suffering and adversities. The percentage of patients for positive common mental disorder and depression approaches 30%. Conclusion: Tuberculosis remains a stigmatizing disease. Building effective health services networks, comprising treatment facilities, community and family resources are very important to improve medication adherence. Effective tuberculosis management through health teams training seems necessary. Incorporating simple screening instruments for depression assessment might promote well-being and patient adherence.
Cite this paper: O’Dwyer, G. , Lino, V. , Rodrigues, N. , Kramer, M. , Reis, I. , Frossard, V. , Vianna, E. , Elias, L. and Estellita-Lins, C. (2017) Illness Experience in a Very Low Income/Poor District of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Tuberculosis, Medication Adherence and Common Mental Disorders. Health, 9, 534-555. doi: 10.4236/health.2017.93038.

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