Background. In Russia, active case finding (ACF) for certain population groups has been practiced uninterruptedly for many decades, but no studies comparing ACF and passive case finding (PCF) approaches in Russia have been published.
Objective. The aim of this study was to describe the main differences in symptoms and diagnostic delay between patients who come to TB services through PCF and ACF strategies.
Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 453 new pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients, who met criteria of TB diagnostic delay in Arkhangelsk.
Results. ACF patients used self-treatment more often than PCF patients (90.1% vs. 24.6%) and 36.3% of them were alcohol abusers (as opposed to only 26.2% of PCF patients). The median patient delay (PD) in PCF was 4 weeks, IQR (1–8 weeks), and less than 1 week in ACF. Twenty-three per cent of the PCF patients were seen by a medical provider within the first week of their illness onset.
Conclusion. Patients diagnosed through ACF tended to under-report their TB symptoms and showed low attention to their own health. However, ACF allowed for discovering TB patients earlier than PCF, and this was also the case for alcohol abusing patients. PCF systems should be supplemented with ACF strategies.
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