Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Knowledge about and experience with tuberculosis by students and their parents in China: physical and psychological pain and overall health burden

Shaoru Zhang, Xiangni Wang, Xiaohong Li, Zhen Cui, Yuelu Li, Xing Wang


Background: China still has serious epidemics of tuberculosis (TB). As a special group, high school students have become a high-risk population for TB. This disease not only brings physical and psychological pain to the TB students, but it is also a heavy burden on their parents.

Objectives: To ascertain TB awareness, feelings about and perceptions of TB among high school TB students and their parents.

Methods: This study combined quantitative and qualitative methods. The qualitative interviews were held with 22 TB students and their parents. The framework method was used for analysis of the interview data.

Results: There was a lack of general understanding about TB by both students and their parents. Their daily lives were deeply affected by TB. TB interrupted the students’ studies and the students were eager to be restored to health in order to return to school as quickly as possible. Under the stress of work, caring for sick children and also economic and psychological pressure, parents had a feeling of lack of time and energy; at the same time, they were concerned about their children’s health and education.

Conclusions: Lack of general knowledge about TB resulted in great psychological pressure on both TB students and their parents. Schools and health institutions need to provide timely information about prevention in order to encourage sick students to actively fight against the disease, relieve pressure on parents through psychological guidance and reduce the adverse effects caused by the disease.


Feelings and perceptions, high school students, parents, parental caring, person-centered healthcare, physical pain, psychological pain, psychosocial damage, student suffering, tuberculosis

Full Text:



Murray, C.J L., Ortblad, K.F., Guinovart, C., Lim, S.S., Wolock, T.M., Roberts, D.A., et al. (2014). Global, regional, and national incidence and mortality for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria during 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet 384, 1005-1070.

Zhao, Y., Ehiri, J., Li, D., Luo, X. & Li, Y. (2013). A survey of TB knowledge among medical students in Southwest China: is the information reaching the target? BMJ Open 3, e0034549.

Li, X., Wang, L., Zhang, H., Du, X., Jiang, S., Shen, T., Zhang, Y.P. & Zeng, G. (2013). Seasonal Variations in Notification of Active Tuberculosis Cases in China, 2005-2012. Plos One 8, e681027.

Zhang, T., Guo, L., Zhang, S., Liu, W., Chen, G., Hui, M., He, G., van der Werf, M.J. & van den Hof, S. (2011). Improving detection and notification of tuberculosis cases in students in Shaanxi province, China: an intervention study. BMC Public Health 11,147.

Fang, Y., Zhang, L., Tu, C., Ye, D., Fontaine ,R., Ma, H., Hao, J., Fu, L., Ying, X., Chen, Q., Wang Y., Liu, H. & Zhu,B.P. (2013). Outbreak of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in a Chinese High School, 2009–2010. Journal of Epidemiology 23, 307-312.

Zhang, S., Ruan, W., Li, Y., Wang, X. & Wang, X. (2014). Experiences of the parents caring for their children during a tuberculosis outbreak in high school: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health 14, 132.

Lima Dias, A.A., Falcao De Oliveira, D.M., Turato, E.R. & de Figueiredo, R.M. (2013). Life experiences of patients who have completed tuberculosis treatment: a qualitative investigation in southeast Brazil. BMC Public Health 13, 595.

Zhang, S.R., Yan, H., Zhang, J.J., Zhang, T.H., Li, X.H. & Zhang, Y.P. (2010). The experience of college students with pulmonary tuberculosis in Shaanxi, China: a qualitative study. BMC Infectious Diseases 10, 174.

Fang, H.X, Qing, Y.B., Wang, X., Xie, H.B., Sun, Y.B. & Li, F.B. (2013). The health belief model applied in the field of tuberculosis (TB). Chinese Journal of Antituberculosis 35, 70-76.

Sukumani, J.T., Lebese R,T., Khoza, L.B. & Risenga, P.R. (2012). Experiences of family members caring for tuberculosis patients at home at Vhembe district of the Limpopo Province. Curationis 35, E1-8.

Li, Y. (2013). Analysis of survey results in Shanghai city community awareness rate of TB patients in TB prevention and control knowledge. Chinese Primary Health Care 27, 31-33.

Yu, L., Lv, Q., Xia, Y.Y., Huang, F., Chen, Q.L., Chen, M.T. & Zhang, H. (2013). National TB control in 2010 core information of universal awareness survey analysis. Chinese Journal of Antituberculosis 35, 60-64.

Chen, L.S., Jin, H. & Guo, H.J. (2011). Preliminary evaluation on effect of health education about tuberculosis prevention and treatment among community residents in Jiangsu province. China Journal of Public Health 29, 1292-1295.

Westaway, M.S. & Wessie, G.M. (1994). Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment of young South African children:experiences and perceptions of care-givers. Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 75, 70-74

Baral, S.C., Karki, D.K. & Newell. J.N. (2007). Causes of stigma and discrimination associated with tuberculosis in Nepal: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health 7, 211.

Horton, T.V. & Wallander, J.L. (2001). Hope and social support as resilience factors against psychological distress of mothers who care for children with chronic physical conditions. Rehabillitation Psychology 46, 382-399.

Zhang, S.R., Zhang, T.H., Li, X.H. & Zhang, J.J. (2010). The phenomenological research on the illness experience of college students tuberculosis patient. Chinese Journal of Antituberculosis 32, 26-29.

Silva, T.D.M.V., Santos, M.A.D. & Almeida, F.D.A. (2014). Understanding the experiences of caregivers of children with tuberculosis in directly observed therapy. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP 48 (Spec No. 2) 39-45

Gai, J.M. (2013). From the elementary school “school choice” the elementary education constitution reform in our country. Journal of Hebei Norm University 15, 14-19.



  • There are currently no refbacks.