In the eye of the multiple beholders: Qualitative research perspectives on studying and encouraging quality of TB care in India

Andrew McDowell*, Nora Engel, Amrita Daftary

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper outlines insights qualitative research brings to the study of quality of care. It advocates understanding care as sequential, interpersonal action aimed at improving health and documenting the networks in which care occurs. It assesses the strengths and weakness of contemporary quantitative and qualitative approaches to examining quality of care for tuberculosis (TB) before outlining three qualitative research programs aimed at understanding quality of TB in India. Three case studies focus on the diagnosis level in the cascade of TB care and use qualitative research to examine the clinical use of pharmaceuticals as diagnostics, the development of diagnostic tests, and the role of care providers in the utilization of diagnostic services. They show that 1) care must be understood as part of relationships over time, 2) the presence or absence of technologies does not always imply their expected use in care, 3) physicians' provision of care is often inflected by their perceptions of patient desires, and 4) effective care is not always perfectly aligned with global health priorities. Qualitative methods with a networked perspective on care provide novel findings that can and have been used when developing quality of care improvement interventions for TB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100111
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Health services research
  • Patient care management
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality of care
  • Tuberculosis diagnostics

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