Department of Legal Medicine, NRITLD, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services,
Tohid Counselling and Psychological Services, Ministry of Education and Training, TEHRAN-IRAN.
Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease which is still a global health hazard. With the emergence of new more effective drugs, tuberculosis was expected to be completely eradicated; but, global reports show results to the contrary. It seems that, in addition to drug regimens, individual health and social factors, should be taken into consideration. This is not achievable except by increasing the knowledge and creating a positive attitude towards this disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of knowledge and attitude of high school students regarding TB in twenty-two areas of Tehran. Materials and Methods: A stratified, random sampling was performed in which 22 educational districts of Tehran were divided into five geographical areas (North, South, East, West and Central). Two educational districts were chosen from each geographical area out of which four high schools (2 boys and 2 girls high schools) were selected. In each high school, 40 to 45 9th, 10th and 11th-grade students were selected as the study group. A total of 5000 students were enrolled in this study and data were collected by face- to face interview and questionnaire. Results: This study showed that the knowledge level of students regarding TB was low and they also, had a negative attitude towards tuberculosis (especially boys). There was a positive relationship between the attitude and knowledge of students towards TB. The knowledge level decreased as the educational level increased. Conclusion: Considering the direct correlation of attitude and knowledge and also the important role of attitude in preventive behaviours, increasing the knowledge of adolescents about tuberculosis seems to be essential. This aim can be achieved by establishing national tuberculosis control committee and scheduling programs for general education of all students of the country in this regard.(Tanaffos 2006; 5(4): 23-28)