Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/16296
Diagnostic pathways of Chagas disease in Spain: a qualitative study
BMC Public Health. 2023 Feb 14;23(1):332.
Background: Due to the mobility of the population in recent years and the spread of Chagas disease (CD) to non-endemic regions, early diagnosis and treatment of CD has become increasingly relevant in non-endemic countries. In order for screening to be effective, health system accessibility must be taken into consideration. This study uses Tanahashi's Health Service Coverage model to gain a deeper understanding of the main diagnostic pathways for Chagas disease in a non-endemic country and the barriers and bottlenecks present in each pathway. Methods: This study used a qualitative design with a phenomenological approach. Twenty-one interviews, two focus group sessions, and two triangular group sessions were conducted between 2015 and 2018 with 37 Bolivian men and women diagnosed with CD in Madrid, Spain. A topic guide was designed to ensure that the interviewers obtained the data concerning knowledge of CD (transmission, symptoms, and treatment), attitudes towards CD, and health behaviour (practices in relation to CD). All interviews, focus groups and triangular groups were recorded and transcribed. A thematic, inductive analysis based on Grounded Theory was performed by two researchers. Results: Three main pathways to CD diagnosis were identified: 1) pregnancy or blood/organ donation, with no bottlenecks in effective coverage; 2) an individual actively seeking CD testing, with bottlenecks relating to administrative, physical, and time-related accessibility, and effectiveness based on the healthcare professional's knowledge of CD; 3) an individual not actively seeking CD testing, who expresses psychological discomfort or embarrassment about visiting a physician, with a low perception of risk, afraid of stigma, and testing positive, and with little confidence in physicians' knowledge of CD. Conclusions: Existing bottlenecks in the three main diagnostic pathways for CD are less prevalent during pregnancy and blood donation, but are more prevalent in individuals who do not voluntarily seek serological testing for CD. Future screening protocols will need to take these bottlenecks into consideration to achieve effective coverage.
Chagas Disease | Physicians | Male | Pregnancy | Humans | Female | Spain | Health Behavior | Qualitative Research
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