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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 158186, 6 pages
Research Article

Patient and Doctor Delays in Smear-Negative and Smear-Positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients Attending a Referral Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey

Department of Pulmonology, Sureyyapasa Center for Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Training and Investigation Hospital, 34854 Istanbul, Turkey

Received 2 July 2014; Accepted 24 August 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Rumina Hasan

Copyright © 2014 Gulbanu Horzum Ekinci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To measure delays from onset of symptoms to initiation of treatment in patients with smear-negative and smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis and to identify reasons for these delays. Methods. A total of 136 newly diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis patients were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Results. The patients were divided into two groups. Group 1 included 65 smear-negative patients. There were 71 smear-positive patients in group 2. The median application interval was 10 days in group 1 and 14 days in group 2. While 24.6% of the patients had patient delay in group 1, patient delay was present in 33.8% of the patients in group 2 (). The median health care system interval was 41 days in group 1 and 16 days in group 2 (). The most common reason for patient delay was neglect of symptoms by patient in both groups. A low index of suspicion for tuberculosis by physicians was the most common reason for doctor delays. Conclusions. Delays are common problem in smear-negative and smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis patients. Delays should be reduced to reach an effective tuberculosis control. Education of public and physicians about tuberculosis is the most important effort to reduce delays.