Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the support provided by Japanese public health nurses (PHNs) to high-risk tuberculosis (TB) patients, focusing specifically on the support aimed at preventing interruptions in treatment. Design and Sample: A qualitative descriptive approach was used with a convenience sample of 11 PHNs in Japan who cared for TB patients at highest risk for medication adherence problems. Measures: Semi-structured interviews were conducted to learn the scope and practice of PHNs with high-risk TB patients. Data were analyzed using a qualitative descriptive analysis process. Results: One main theme was identified: "Supporting the patients in overcoming tuberculosis, regaining health, and living a healthier life." Three categories with five subcategories described the nurses' activities: (1) empathetic and reliable support, (2) motivational strategies for medication adherence, and (3) developing a foundation for healthier life. Conclusions: The nurses interviewed described creative and extraordinary strategies used to promote medication adherence and facilitate development of a healthy posttreatment lifestyle. Their approach was patient-centered and culturally congruent. Findings may be transferrable to PHN practice in other regions as care for this economically disadvantaged and marginalized population is a critical need.
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