Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1373–1379 | Cite as

Perceptions of Tuberculosis Among Individuals Born in a High-Endemic Setting, Now Living in a Low-Endemic Setting

  • Annika ErssonEmail author
  • Terese Östman
  • Rita Sjöström
Original Paper


Of all individuals diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in Sweden 2015 were 90% born in other countries. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to avoid TB transmission. Lack of knowledge about TB and anticipated negative social consequences have proved to be significant contributing factors to delay in seeking health care. This study aimed to understand the perception of TB among people originating from a high-endemic region, currently living in a low-endemic region. A qualitative study design, with male and female participants from a high-endemic region divided into focus groups. A semi-structured interview guide was used to elicit their perceptions of TB. A qualitative content analysis was performed on the recorded material from the interviews. The informants noted that their attitude towards individuals with TB had changed, previously they had felt prejudiced towards them whereas now they felt supportive. It seems possible to diminish TB stigma by ensuring suitable health care is available in combination with correct information about transmission, infectiousness and treatment.


Discrimination Immigrant health Qualitative methodology Stigma Tuberculosis 



This work was financially supported by the FoU unit in Östersund and Jämtlands Cancer och Omvårdnadsfond. The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance with interpretation provided by Mr Omar Mohammad Mohamoud and Mrs Muuna Hamse. We also wish to acknowledge the guidance we received from Professor Lars-Olof Larsson and Mr Lars Söderström.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Ethical clearance for this study was obtained from the Regional Ethics Review Board in Umeå under reference number DNR 2016/398-31 on 15 November 2016.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of infectious diseasesÖstersund HospitalÖstersundSweden
  2. 2.Unit of Research, Education and DevelopmentÖstersund HospitalÖstersundSweden
  3. 3.Department of Community Medicine and RehabilitationUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  4. 4.Östersund hospitalÖstersundSweden

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