Health and illness beliefs in adults with tuberculosis infection during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

Publication date: Jun 01, 2024

COVID-19 disrupted the TB prevention programme in the UK, especially for TB infection (TBI) care. We explore whether experience of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on patients’ perceptions of TBI and its treatment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted as part of the Research to Improve Detection and Treatment of TBI (RID-TB) programme, exploring perceptual and practical barriers to TBI treatment. Nineteen people diagnosed with TBI were interviewed between August 2020 and April 2021. Recordings were transcribed and analysed using a constant comparative approach, allowing for a dynamic and iterative exploration of themes. Themes are organised using the Perceptions and Practicalities Approach. Some participants perceived TBI as a risk factor for increased susceptibility to COVID-19, while some thought that treatment for TBI might protect against COVID-19 or mitigate its effects. Adaptations to TB services (e. g., remote follow-up) and integrated practices during the COVID-19 restrictions (e. g., medication being posted) addressed some practical barriers to TBI treatment. However, we identified beliefs about TBI and COVID-19 that are likely to act as barriers to engagement with TBI treatment, including: interpreting service delays as an indication of TBI not being serious enough for treatment and concerns about contracting COVID-19 in TB clinics. COVID-19 and TBI service delays influence people’s perceptions and practical barriers to TBI treatment adherence. Failure to address these beliefs may lead to people’s concerns about their treatment not being fully addressed. Utilised service adaptations like remote consultations to address practical barriers may be relevant beyond COVID-19. NIHR RID-TB Program (RP-PG-0217-20009).

Concepts Keywords
April Covid-19
August health beliefs
Covid LTBI
Interviews perceptions
Tuberculosis tuberculosis


Type Source Name
disease MESH tuberculosis
pathway KEGG Tuberculosis
disease MESH infection
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease IDO susceptibility

Original Article

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