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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 514

Changes in Healthcare Workers' Knowledge about Tuberculosis Following a Tuberculosis Training Programme

1 University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
2 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater,Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA

Correspondence Address:
S Naidoo
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22081655

Background: In resource-limited countries, health policy makers and practitioners need to know whether healthcare workers have sufficient knowledge of tuberculosis and its management. Objectives: We conducted a study to: (1) measure knowledge changes among healthcare workers who participated in a tuberculosis training programme; and (2) make recommendations about future tuberculosis training for healthcare workers in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in 2007 measured changes in tuberculosis knowledge of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers after a training programme based on World Health Organization tuberculosis training modules. Data were collected before and after training using a self-administered, 98-item questionnaire covering eight components. Results: A total of 267 healthcare workers, mean age 40.7 years, answered both pre- and post-training questionnaires. Mean total knowledge scores were low despite significant changes (p<0.001) from a pre-training score of 59.5% to a post-training score of 66.5%. Nurses showed significant improvements in mean total knowledge scores (p<0.001) but had the lowest mean total knowledge score post-training, 63.2%. Doctors had significantly better pre-training (p<0.001) and post-training (p<0.001) mean total knowledge scores compared to nurses. Conclusions: Improvement in healthcare workers' overall knowledge of tuberculosis during a training programme was not clinically significant. Periodic field training and supervision should be considered to ensure tuberculosis knowledge improvements.

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