Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

Fighting TB requires empowered patients

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6344 (Published 08 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:i6344
  1. Deepti Chavan

In this article from India, Deepti Chavan describes the differences in health outcomes when patients are able to access the information they need

I was 16 when I first started coughing. It was in the middle of school exams. After months of coughing non-stop, I had a chest x ray and it was confirmed. “You have TB,” my general practitioner said. These three words changed my life. I didn’t know anything about this disease. I was about to start university. Everything changed. From a young person filled with hope I became an anxious patient.

No information

I went to one doctor after another. At first I went where I was referred. Later I undertook my own search for a doctor who would be able to help. They did not tell me about the disease or its progression. I felt I just had to trust them—like God; you never …

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