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In this article, we aimed to understand the life experiences of Thai persons diagnosed with multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). A qualitative study using a face-to-face in-depth interview was conducted at a hospital in Thailand which has the highest prevalence of MDR-TB in the country between January and February 2019. Twenty persons living with MDR-TB in Thailand were purposively selected to represent a variety of experiences based on different gender, ages, and treatment phases. Qualitative data were transcribed and thematic analysis was applied to identify common themes and sub-themes. The results indicated that all participants faced emotional difficulties, such as fear of death, fear of stigmatization, confusion, and sadness when first knowing of their diagnosis. Family and social support were the main ways that the patients coped with difficult situations. Suicidal ideas were more prevalent among patients with poor family support. Screening for mental health problems should be routinely performed in MDR-TB patients. Proper health education should be provided to patients and families to reduce emotional difficulties and stigmatization.

Original publication




Journal article


Qualitative health research

Publication Date



Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Department of Tropical Hygiene, 68000Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.