Tuberculosis Intervention Boosts Adherence in Senegal

Intervention may benefit tuberculosis patients in other resource-poor countries

TUESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A tuberculosis intervention program of counseling and community involvement may boost treatment adherence in resource-poor countries, according to a report in the Jan. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sylla Thiam, M.D., of the Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement in Dakar, Senegal, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial of 1,522 patients older than 15 years of age, who were newly diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, to determine if a contextualized intervention program improved adherence to therapy among Senegal residents. The intervention arm involved improved communication between patients and their health care providers, decentralizing treatment, choice of directly observed therapy supporter by the patient and reinforcement of supervision activities.

Eighty-eight percent of patients in the intervention group were successfully treated for their tuberculosis, compared with 76 percent in the control group who received usual tuberculosis care. Moreover, the risk of defaulting from treatment was about 60 percent lower among individuals in the intervention arm compared with their counterparts who received usual tuberculosis care.

"This intervention could now be implemented in a stepwise manner throughout Senegal, and we believe that this approach may be generalized within the context of tuberculosis control programs in other resource-poor countries," the researchers conclude.

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