OBJECTIVES: Evidence on the acceptability of urine-based assays for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis among patients remains limited. We sought to describe patients' experiences and perceptions of urine sampling for TB testing at point of care.
SETTING: Study sites in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa.
PARTICIPANTS: Adult ambulatory HIV patients enrolled in a TB diagnostic study were selected purposively.
INTERVENTION: For this qualitative descriptive study, audiorecorded individual interviews conducted with consenting participants were translated, transcribed and analysed using content analysis. Ethical agreement was obtained from relevant ethical review committees.
RESULTS: Fifty-eight participants were interviewed. Three domains were identified. Overall, participants described urine sampling as easy, rapid and painless, with the main challenge being lacking the urge. Urine was preferred to sputum sampling in terms of simplicity, comfort, stigma reduction, convenience and practicality. While perceptions regarding its trustworthiness for TB diagnosis differed, urine sampling was viewed as an additional mean to detect TB and beneficial for early diagnosis. Participants were willing to wait for several hours for same-day results to allay the emotional, physical and financial burden of having to return to collect results, and would rather not pay for the test. Facilitators of urine sampling included cleanliness and perceived privacy of sampling environments, comprehensive sampling instructions and test information, as well as supplies such as toilet paper and envelopes ensuring confort and privacy when producing and returning samples. Participants motivation for accepting urine-based TB testing stemmed from their perceived susceptibility to TB, the value they attributed to their health, especially when experiencing symptoms, and their positive interactions with the medical team.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that urine sampling is well accepted as a TB diagnostic method and provides insights on how to promote patients' uptake of urine-based testing and improve their sampling experiences. These results encourage the future broad use of urine-based assays at point of care.
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