Social determinants of tuberculosis evaluation among household contacts: a secondary analysis

T Shelby, A J Meyer, E Ochom, P Turimumahoro, D Babirye, A Katamba, J L Davis, M Armstrong-Hough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Setting: Seven public sector tuberculosis (TB) units and surrounding communities in Kampala, Uganda. Objective: To evaluate the influence of household-level socio-economic characteristics on completion of TB evaluation during household contact investigation. Design: A cross-sectional study nested within the control arm of a randomized, controlled trial evaluating home-based sputum collection and short messaging service communications. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate the association between completion of TB evaluation and socio-economic determinants. Results: Of 116 household contacts referred to clinics for TB evaluation, 32 (28%) completed evaluation. Completing evaluation was strongly clustered by household. Controlling for individual symptoms, contacts from households earning below-median income (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] 0.28, 95%CI 0.09-0.88, P = 0.029) and contacts from households in which the head of household had no more than primary-level education (aRR 0.40, 95%CI 0.18-0.89, P = 0.025) were significantly less likely to complete evaluation for TB. Conclusion: Socio-economic factors such as low income and education increase the risk that household contacts of TB patients will experience barriers to completing TB evaluation themselves. Further research is needed to identify specific mechanisms by which these underlying social determinants modify the capability and motivation of contacts to complete contact investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health Action
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 21 2018


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