Knowledge of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in the Saudi Community in Jeddah

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Siraj O. Wali
Osama A. Samargandi
Ahmad A. Abulaban
Bassem S. El Deek
Lujain H. Mirdad


Pulmonary tuberculosis, Public knowledge, Community, Jeddah


Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis is a common and current health problem in Saudi Arabia. Public education and awareness are essential for the prevention of tuberculosis. This study aims at assessing the level of knowledge among people in Jeddah regarding this re-emerging disease.

Methods: A cross-sectional, self-administrated questionnaire-based study was conducted at three main shopping centers in Jeddah city, after pilot study testing. A structured questionnaire was developed to assess the basic knowledge about pulmonary tuberculosis which included demographic data, level of education, source and level of knowledge (basic facts) about pulmonary tuberculosis.

Results: The questionnaire was completed by 436 recruited subjects; 256 (58.7%) females, age ranged between 12 and 72 (mean 28.54 years; SD ± 11.2); 165 (38.9%) were students and 154 (36.3%) were employees. The majority (73%) of candidates were relatively well educated or completed high school. 53.3% of the candidates assumed had sufficient knowledge regarding tuberculosis. 36% were unaware that lungs were the primary organ affected, over half (50.9%) denied it is an infectious disease, and almost half (47.4%) were unaware of effective treatment. The mean score of the level of knowledge for the whole group was 5.20 out of 11 (SD ± 2.95); 39% scored less than 4. Females scored better than males, 5.55 and 4.69 out of 11, respectively with a p-value of 0.003.

Conclusion: The data showed that public awareness regarding pulmonary tuberculosis was below expectation. Essential information about the disease was lacking even among well-educated people, though female were found to be knowledgeable compared to males.

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