We read with great interest the call for urgent action to ensure access to early diagnosis and care of tuberculosis (TB) among refugees by Dara et al. . One of the five recommendations made by the European Respiratory Society and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease is universal access to prevention and treatment services for TB. However, universal access may be impeded by cultural and linguistic barriers . These barriers are most prominent in the initial years following migration and have implications for health, and may affect both access to and quality of care [2–4]. Cultural and linguistic barriers may lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment initiation as well as difficulties in maintaining adherence and effectiveness of contact tracing. Culture and personal experience influences the way in which pain and discomfort are expressed, further complicating mutual understanding between patient and healthcare provider .
Language barriers are a significant problem for patients with tuberculosis in England and Scotland http://ow.ly/DFjq309KEDT
Conflict of interest: None declared.
- Received January 6, 2017.
- Accepted February 13, 2017.
- Copyright ©ERS 2017