Backward Prison guards may limit the access of prisoners to health service and thus contribute to tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment delays.
Objectives To compare the attitudes about TB among prisoners and guards.
Method It was designed a cross-sectional study with 140 prisoners and 71 guards from a big male prison in Brazil. All prison guards were interviewed. Among prisoners nearly 20% were randomly selected for interview based on KAP (knowledge, attitude and practice) survey on symptoms, prevention attitudes and treatment knowledge.
Results Close to 100% know that TB is curable and 72% would seek treatment at a health service unit (p>0.05). Emotions related to the possibility of having TB differ, guards have higher proportion of thread (20% vs 8% p=0.008), surprise (23% vs 9% p=0.008), but sadness (38%) and other emotions do not vary significantly among both groups. Although nearly all would speak about their illness, the proportion of guards who would speak to several people was higher (to doctor 54% vs 18%), wife (66% vs 9%), parents (63% vs 7%), children (63% vs 4%) and other family members (58% vs 12%). Higher proportion of prisoners was acquainted with someone with TB (82% vs 58%). Also higher was the proportion that has already had TB (15% vs 3%).
Conclusions No differences on preventable attitudes were observed, although the guards' knowledge is higher than prisoners and their negative attitudes are low. They still have mistaken ideas about TB which can be corrected and thus improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
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