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Open Access Research article

Experiences of the parents caring for their children during a tuberculosis outbreak in high school: a qualitative study

Shaoru Zhang*, Wei Ruan, Yingqun Li, Xiangni Wang and Xing Wang

Author Affiliations

Department of Nursing, Xian Jiaotong University, 76 Yanta West Road, Postbox 38, Xian City, Shaanxi Province 710061, China

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:132  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-132

Published: 7 February 2014



Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious epidemic in China. In the past five years, the number of TB infections in high school students is rising and thus high school students are becoming a high risk group of TB. Parents of children with TB have to endure high psychological pressures from the disease itself, children’s education, employment and life. The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychological pressure of parents with high school students suffering from TB.


A total of 22 parents who have been taking care of their children suffering from TB were interviewed and a framework approach was used to analyze the interviews.


In our study, 21/22 parents had low levels of understanding about TB; 22/22 were under psychological stress; and 20/22 stated that their daily life was impacted on TB.


Parents need to be given appropriate knowledge on TB and psychological counseling. Authorities should not only implement the therapeutic measures, but also focus on solving the psychological problems of patients and their families when a similar outbreak occurs.

Tuberculosis; High school students; Parents; Care burden; Qualitative research