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Vol. 10 No. 1: April issue

Shifting Stigma: Why Ukrainian Health Care Workers Favor a High Barrier Treatment Modality for Tuberculosis

November 30, 2021


This research article seeks to understand how the cultural context of tuberculosis (TB) care in Ukraine influences healthcare workers’ perception of their patients and the choices they make in offering TB treatment. Specifically, we aim to explore healthcare workers’ predilection towards inpatient treatment of TB in Ukraine in lieu of other, evidence-based treatment approaches. Based on qualitative research with TB care providers in Ukraine, we argue that a preference for inpatient treatment instead of the standard outpatient regimen is rooted in the care workers’ assessment of the patient’s desire to get well. In other words, the preferred treatment modality is not based on any biological characteristic of TB infection; instead, it is based on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of patients’ psychology.