African TB intervention project successful
DAKAR, Senegal, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Senegal tuberculosis patients enrolled in a program of improved communication with health officials had higher cure and treatment completion rates.
Dr. Sylla Thiam of the Programme Tuberculose in Dakar, Senegal, and colleagues conducted the study to determine the effectiveness of a strategy developed to address the problem of low adherence and improve TB treatment outcomes in the West African nation.
The randomized controlled trial included 1,522 patients with newly diagnosed pulmonary TB who were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention strategy included reinforced counseling through improved communication between health personnel and patients, decentralization of treatment, choice of directly observed therapy, and reinforcement of supervision activities.
In the control group, the usual TB control program procedures remained unchanged.
Results showed 682 patients were successful treated in the intervention group, compared with 563 patients in the control group. The risk of defaulting from treatment was nearly 60 percent lower in the intervention group.
The researchers say they believe the same approach can be generalized within the context of TB control programs in other resource-poor countries.
The study is detailed in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. // Copyright 2007 by United Press International