Open Access Open Badges Research article

Delayed treatment of tuberculosis patients in rural areas of Yogyakarta province, Indonesia

Yodi Mahendradhata123*, Bobby M Syahrizal2 and Adi Utarini12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

2 FIDELIS project, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

3 Epidemiology and Disease Control Unit, Public Health Department, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:393  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-393

Published: 26 November 2008



In year 2000, the entire population in Indonesia was 201 million and 57.6 percent of that was living in rural areas. This paper reports analyses that address to what extent the rural structure influence the way TB patients seek care prior to diagnosis by a DOTS facility.


We documented healthcare utilization pattern of smear positive TB patients prior to diagnosis and treatment by DOTS services (health centre, chest clinic, public and private hospital) in Yogyakarta province. We calculated the delay in treatment as the number of weeks between the onset of symptoms and the start of DOTS treatment. Statistical analysis was carried out with Epi Info version 3.3 (October 5, 2004).


The only factor which was significantly associated with total delay was urban-rural setting (p = < 0.0001). The median total delay for TB patients in urban districts was 8 (1st Quartile = 4; 3rd Quartile = 12) weeks compared to 12 (1st Quartile = 7; 3rd Quartile = 23) weeks for patients in rural districts. Multivariate analysis suggested no confounding between individual factors and urban-rural setting remained as the main factor for total delay (p = < 0.0001). Primary health centre was the first choice provider for most (38.7%) of these TB patients. Urban-rural setting was also the only factor which was significantly associated with choice of first provider (p = 0.03).


Improving access to DOTS services in rural areas is an area of vital importance in aiming to make progress toward achieving TB control targets in Indonesia.