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Table 1 Characteristics of the 137 patients diagnosed with tuberculosis enrolled in the study

From: Determinants of patient and health care services delays for tuberculosis diagnosis in Italy: a cross-sectional observational study

Characteristic N = 137
Female gender 50 (36.5)
Age (median [IQR]) 40 [29, 56]
Nationality
 Italian 42 (30.7)
 African 31 (22.6)
 South-American 17 (12.4)
 Asian 27 (19.7)
 Eastern European 20 (14.6)
Years lived in Italy (N = 95)
 <2 11 (11.6)
 2–5 20 (21.0)
 >5 49 (51.6)
Housing conditions
 Living with others 46 (33.6)
 Living with family 71 (51.8)
 Living alone 20 (14.6)
Have children 84 (61.3)
School degree
 Primary school degree 26 (19.0)
 Secondary school degree 31 (22.6)
 High school diploma 65 (47.4)
 University degree 10 (7.3)
Occupation
 Unemployed 10 (7.3)
 Employed/Retired 117 (85.4)
 Student 10 (7.3)
Annual income
 No income 28 (20.4)
 <10,000 € 42 (30.7)
 10,000–30,000 € per year 42 (30.7)
 >30,000 per year 6 (4.4)
HIV and other comorbidities
 HIV infection 10 (7.3)
 Immunosuppressive therapies 5 (3.6)
 Haematological diseases 2 (1.5)
 Chronic kidney disease 2 (1.5)
 Neoplasms 6 (4.4)
 Cirrhosis 4 (2.9)
 Diabetes 10 (7.3)
Social conditions
 Alcohol abuse 3 (2.2)
 Drug abuse 2 (1.5)
 Homelessness 3 (2.2)
 Past imprisonment 5 (3.6)
History of potential exposure
 Family history 7 (5.1)
 Professional exposure 3 (2.2)
 Contact with TB patient 8 (5.8)
Site of involvement
 Extra-pulmonary 38 (27.7)
 Pulmonary 78 (56.9)
 Pulmonary and extra-pulmonary 20 (14.6)
Case Definition
 New Case 117 (85.4)
 Relapse or previous failure 14 (10.2)
Diagnosis
 Culture 82 (59.8)
 Microscopy 13 (9.5)
 Molecular test 10 (7.3)
 Histology 12 (8.8)
 Clinical 20 (14.6)
Respiratory symptomsa 88 (67.2)
Healthcare structure of first assessmenta
 General practitioner 55 (42.0)
 Specialist consultation 25 (19.2)
 Emergency Department 39 (29.8)
 Other 11 (8.5)
Reasons for delaya,b
 Underestimation of symptoms 98 (74.8)
 Fear of consequences 54 (41.2)
 Barriers to healthcare access 49 (37.4)
 Good TB knowledgea 80 (61.1)
 Uncorrect beliefs about TBa 76 (58)
  1. All results are presented as number of occurrences with percentages in brackets, unless otherwise specified
  2. aPercentages calculated on the total of 131 patients who returned a filled questionnaire
  3. Abbreviations: HIV human immunodeficiency virus, IQR inter-quartile range, N/A not applicable, TB tuberculosis
  4. b“Underestimation of symptoms” includes the following self-reported reasons in the questionnaire: “symptoms did not seem to be important”, “overall I felt well”;
  5. “Fear of consequences” includes the following self-reported reasons: “I was afraid of a positive result”, “I was afraid I would be reported to the authorities”, “I was afraid to lose my job”, “I was afraid to be rejected by my friends”, “My friends discouraged me”
  6. “Barriers to healthcare access” includes the following self-reported reasons: “I did not have time to go to the doctor”, “I did not know where to go”, “I did not have money”