Patient reasons for non adherence to anti Tuberculosis treatment - a qualitative study

Nompumelelo Gloria Mfeka, Mergan Naidoo


The burden of Tuberculosis infection on the South African health system is overwhelming.  A delay in TB infection detection, HIV co-infection and non adherence to treatment regimens are major barriers to successful TB control programmes. The latter is the interest of the researcher in this study as appropriate adherence improves treatment effectiveness and disease outcomes.

Despite various interventions aimed at improving adherence to treatment, there are diverse and complex reasons that make it difficult for patients to adhere to anti-Tuberculosis treatment.  Neglecting anti-TB treatment is often recognised by health care workers as patient ignorance, lack of concern, indecisiveness or the “difficult patient”1.  This study seeks to explore and understand the patients’ reasons and perspectives for non adherence to anti-TB treatment.