Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious cause of illness in Yemen. Knowledge is believed to be associated with patients’ willingness to seek treatment and adherence to treatment. Objectives: To assess patients’ knowledge of TB and identify possible influencing factors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted for a period of three months (October to December, 2013) to assess knowledge of TB among new TB patients in five Yemini regions. Descriptive results were presented as frequencies and percentage. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (K-S test) was used for normality test. Chi-square (Χ2) testing and Kruskal-Wallis H test were used to describe differences between groups. Multiple linear regression was performed to identify factors influencing the knowledge. Multicollinearity was considered before performing multiple linear regression. SPSS version 18 (Chicago, IL) was used for data analysis. Results: A total of 450 patients with a mean age (±SD) of 32.7 (±13.6) years (range 15–80 years) were interviewed; 59.3% of respondents were males, 64.4% of respondents reported receiving TB information from the health staff. Slightly more than half (55.6%) of the patients’ were aware about the method of TB transmission. The majority (82.2%) of the respondents knew that TB is a curable disease. About two thirds (71.8%) of the tuberculosis patients were found to be aware about duration of treatment. About 271 (60.2%) of the respondents were categorized as having a good level of knowledge about TB. The median knowledge score was 4.0. Kruskal-Wallis H test showed significant differences in the medians between groups with regard to gender, age, education status, marital status, living status, stigma and receiving health education. However, multiple linear regression analysis showed that age, education status, stigma and receiving health education at health centers were the only factors that significantly influencing the knowledge. About 44% of the patients expressed fear of being known as tuberculosis patients in the community. Conclusion: The knowledge of TB and its treatment was generally moderate with a median score of 4. Majority of the patients knew that TB is a curable disease with regular treatment and recommended duration. This will psychologically encourage them to adhere to treatment instructions.
Key words: Tuberculosis, Knowledge, Health education, Yemen.