Social support has been identified as a significant factor in addressing treatment barriers and facilitating treatment adherence. Using a descriptive design, this qualitative study aims at sharing personal feelings and social support-related experiences among pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients in Western India. A semi-structured interview guide was designed, and thirty-seven in-depth interviews were conducted. Descriptive thematic analysis was employed for reporting the themes and the results. The participants highlighted diverse social support experiences like empathy, compassion, trust, neglect, tangible aid, strained relationships with in-laws, health provider’s support, strength, and motivation which influences their treatment adherent behaviour. Contrasting differences of social support experiences among adherent and non-adherent TB patients were also reported. The study has important ramifications for developing patient-centric social support intervention strategies, TB policy, and practice. The study has shown, ‘if not for this support’, patients would have left the treatment, and it is mainly because this debilitating disease robs people of their physical, social, economic, psychological, and emotional well-being far beyond the period when treatment is being administered. However, we resonate that addressing social support is not the only way, and TB elimination overall will require an optimal mix of enhanced biomedical, social, economic, and policy interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health