Latent Tuberculosis Infection Beliefs and Testing and Treatment Health Behaviors Amongst Non-US-Born South Asians in New Jersey: A Cross-Sectional Community Survey
Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) remains a problem in the United States as reactivation leads to active TB disease particularly in persons with risk factors. The objective of this study is to assess the knowledge, attitudes and health behaviors related to testing and treatment of LTBI among non-US-born South Asians (SA) in New Jersey (NJ). A cross-sectional, community-based survey was the primary tool for gathering data. Eligibility criteria included being at least 18 years of age, self-identifying as SA, verbal consent for participation, and birth in a high TB endemic country. A hardcopy survey was distributed at local South Asian health fairs. The survey included questions about demographics, knowledge, beliefs on TB, and health behaviors (testing and treatment). Descriptive statistics were performed for all survey responses. Logistic regression models were constructed to assess the association of characteristics/beliefs and study outcomes. The survey sample size included 387 respondents. A total of 197 (54%) of respondents reported ever been tested for TB. Those who were tested for TB were generally younger, had higher educational levels, higher household incomes, and were more likely to have health insurance than those not ever tested for TB. Significantly more respondents who self-reported ever been tested for TB believed that TB was very or extremely serious (71.1% vs. 56.2%, p = 0.004). Also, significantly more respondents who self-reported ever been tested for TB believed that it was important to get tested (91.2% vs. 63.3%, p < 0.001). The survey analysis concluded that high-risk SA residents in NJ demonstrated a low rate of testing for TB.
KeywordsLatent tuberculosis South Asian LTBI testing LTBI treatment Health beliefs Health behaviors
We would like to acknowledge the support of the Middlesex County Department of Health, the students and personnel of the South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) at Rutgers, The University of New Jersey and St. Peter’s University Hospital, and Dr. Elizabeth Marshall from Rutgers School of Public Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to report relevant to this publication.
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