Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality and almost one-third of the world is infected with this disease. In Turkey, it remains an important public health concern. In many of the studies, social aspects of TB are underestimated. In this study, self-evatuations of TB inpatients between the ages of 18 and 65 were assessed between July 29 and August 01, 2002 at Ankara Ataturk Sanatorium Training and Research Hospital, which is one of the major reference hospitals for TB in Turkey. This was a cross-sectional epidemiological study in which the participation rate was 88.2%. Mean age of the total 97 participants was 41.3 (SD = 13.6) and 80.4% of patients were mate. Patients expressed "unhappiness and stress (23.7%)" to be the major cause of their illness. From the patients' point of view, the three major difficulties incorporated in their lives due to TB were "financial problems (27.9%)", "loneliness (9.3%)", and "hospitalization (9.3%)". Relationships between the patients and their social environments were also assessed in five categories: "closest friend at work, closest friend in life, parents, children, and spouse". (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.