Patients' perspectives on factors facilitating adherence to tuberculosis treatment in Iquitos, Peru: a qualitative study

James Anthoney, Gilles De Wildt, Graciela Meza, John Skelton, Ian Newell

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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis is a major global health problem and one of the greatest barriers to its control is poor adherence to treatment. Peru has one of the highest burdens of TB in South America, with an incidence rate of 123 per 100,000 populations. There is currently a lack of evidence in South America about factors that facilitate adherence to treatment, with most previous research focusing on factors that negatively influence adherence to TB treatment.

SETTING: This study was conducted in Iquitos, the capital city of the Loreto region, north-eastern Peru. Loreto has a high incidence of tuberculosis, estimated at 99 per 100,000 population, and a high poverty rate.

METHODS: Twenty face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted at two healthcare centres. Data collected from the interviews was analysed using thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: Three main themes emerged from the data set. Personal Qualities, such as responsibility and determination, were perceived as important factors facilitating adherence. Participants described their Trust in Healthcare Providers positively, particularly focusing on their trust in clinical staff, although knowledge of tuberculosis and its treatment was limited. Social Support, from a variety of sources, was also seen as a driving factor for continued adherence.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that more emphasis should be placed on educating tuberculosis patients about their disease and its treatment. Additionally, consideration should be given to improving the social support available to patients, for example with tuberculosis support groups involving 'expert' tuberculosis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number345
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021


  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Peru/epidemiology
  • Qualitative Research
  • South America
  • Tuberculosis/drug therapy


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