Evaluating the efficacy of tuberculosis Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) activities in Pakistan: A cross-sectional study

Tahir Turk, Fiona Joy Newton, Joshua Daniel Newton, Farah Naureen, Jodah Bokhari

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background - Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major public health and development problem within many low- and middle-income countries. Although Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) activities have been undertaken in high TB burden countries to remediate these issues, there is little empirical evidence of the efficacy of these approaches. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the efficacy of an ACSM program undertaken within Pakistan. Pakistan was chosen because it has received considerable funding for ACSM related activities and is one of 22 high-burden TB countries. Methods - The program was evaluated by surveying a stratified random sample of 2,400 participants across 57 districts of Pakistan. Participants were categorized into one of three groups: aware of both media and community ACSM activities (AwareMedia Community), aware of ACSM media activities only (AwareMedia), or unaware of any ACSM activities (UnawareMedia Community). Results - Independent measures ANCOVA revealed complex differences in knowledge, attitudes, and intended behaviors towards TB between the three groups. In general, UnawareMedia Community cases had a poorer understanding of TB and its treatment, whilst awareness of ACSM activities was highest among literate and urban dwelling Pakistanis. Preferred sources of TB information were also found to vary by gender, geographic location, and literacy. Conclusions - Whilst highlighting improvements in knowledge and attitudes toward TB, the results also provide invaluable insights into areas where further work needs to be done to address deficits in TB understanding, particularly among rural and illiterate Pakistanis. Equally important, the findings have implications for future TB ACSM initiatives in Pakistan in terms of leveraging the preferred media channels of key demographic segments and exploring the degree to which exposure to multiple channels of communication may have an additive effect on health knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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