What Counselling and Support Do Patients With Tuberculosis Need?

Authors: Indira Behara, MBBS, MPH; Karishma Saran, MSc; Aasit G. Nanavati, MPH; Deepti Chavan Musale, Patient Advocate—Authors
Number of pages: 4
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Overview: Persons affected by tuberculosis and their family members should be counselled at every opportunity, to address information gaps and to enable informed decision-making. Counselling should also address issues such as healthcare, physical, financial, psycho-social and nutritional needs. The objective of counselling is to meet the needs and ensure the rights of the patient. The objective is also to support the patient where possible to overcome barriers to successful treatment. During counselling, patients need to be informed about TB, how the disease spreads, signs and symptoms, consequences of not following treatment guidelines, why treatment is long and why completion of treatment is critical, likely adverse events during therapy, and cost involved in treatment and what free/public services are available to patients. Patients need to be told that TB is a fully curable and treatable disease. We must use patient centred approaches, and recognize that all TB patients deserve a minimum package of holistic TB care services that are not restricted to diagnosis and pharmacological treatment, but include counselling and support services as well.

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