Exploring the tuberculosis medication program in Indonesia as perceived by patients and their families: A qualitative study


focus groups
communicable diseases

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Ritonga, I. L., Setyowati, S., Handiyani, H., & Nursasi, A. Y. (2023). Exploring the tuberculosis medication program in Indonesia as perceived by patients and their families: A qualitative study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(2), 124–131. https://doi.org/10.33546/bnj.2484
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Accepted for publication: 2023-02-27
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant public health challenge in Indonesia, with the country experiencing one of the highest numbers of lost cases in TB management. Therefore, there is a need to identify the underlying reasons for this problem.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the experiences of TB-diagnosed patients and their families during the time of diagnosis and while undergoing the TB medication program.

Methods: This study employed a qualitative descriptive-interpretive approach. The study was conducted in government community health centers (CHC) from May 2022 to July 2022. A total of 22 participants, consisting of 12 TB-diagnosed patients and ten family members, were included in the study. Data were collected through focus group discussions and analyzed thematically.

Results: Five themes were developed: (1) Delay in tuberculosis diagnosis, (2) Delay in starting TB treatment, (3) High willingness of patients and their families to recover, (4) Understanding that TB is an infectious disease, and (5) Factors affecting patient recovery.

Conclusion: The study findings might contribute to the National TB elimination program. It is recommended that all health workers practicing in the community should be involved in the TB program to improve its management. Collaboration between multiple sectors in the community can also provide an advantage in solving TB problems by increasing new case detection. Additionally, it is suggested that all nurses working with TB patients establish rapport with health cadres and patients’ families to enhance medication adherence in patients.


Supporting Agencies

The study was funded by Universitas Imelda Medan, Indonesia


Copyright (c) 2023 Imelda Liana Ritonga, Setyowati, Hanny Handiyani, Astuty Yuni Nursasi

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest



The authors express their appreciation to the tuberculosis control case manager of PHC East Medan District, all informal health workers in PHC East Medan District, and the Faculty of Nursing at Universitas Indonesia and Universitas Imelda Medan for their support in conducting this study.

Authors’ Contributions

ILR contributed substantially to the study's conception and design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of data, and manuscript writing. SS contributed to drafting the work, revising it critically for important intellectual content, data analysis, and manuscript writing. HH and AYS revised the work critically for important academic content. All authors were accountable at each study step and approved the article’s final version for publication.

Data Availability

The datasets interpreted and analyzed during the study process are not made public but available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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