HomeAboutusEditorial BoardCurrent issuearchivesSearch articlesInstructions for authorsSubscription detailsAdvertise

  Login  | Users online: 1106

   Ahead of print articles    Bookmark this page Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font size Increase font size  

ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 229-233
A study on the role of mobile phone communication in tuberculosis DOTS treatment

Department of Media Sciences, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
R Elangovan
Department of Media Sciences, Anna University, Chennai- 600 025, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.120158

Rights and Permissions

Background: Every year, a lot of Tuberculosis (TB) patients undergo Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) in Salem city, one of the high TB districts in South India. Mobile phone usage among these patients and health workers is common. Mobile phone communication has a great potential in TB treatment. Objectives: To analyze the mobile phone usage and its effectiveness in TB DOTS treatment. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey with 150 TB patients was followed by a focus group discussion with treatment supervisors, DOTS providers, and health workers. Results: Majority of patients use mobile phones to make calls to health workers to clarify their doubts on side effects, food, and symptoms of the disease. TB treatment supervisors effectively use mobile phones to counsel patients to adhere to the treatment regimen. Patients see mobile phones as a useful communication tool in TB treatment though they prefer direct interpersonal communication with health workers. Though the mobile ownership is 68% among the TB patients, many of them are not able to send text messages or read messages in English. Conclusion: Mobile phone possession and usage is high among the patients. Patients need to be trained to use mobile phone features such as alarm, voice mail, and interactive voice response. Incentives like free talk time and short message service (SMS) will encourage patients to communicate frequently with health workers, thereby, increasing the chances of better adherence to DOTS. SMS could be made available in the regional languages.

Print this article  Email this article

  Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
  Related articles
   Citation Manager
  Access Statistics
   Reader Comments
   Email Alert *
   Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded527    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 16    

Recommend this journal


  Sitemap | What's New | Copyright and Disclaimer | Privacy Notice
  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007