Factors contributing to treatment success among tuberculosis patients: a prospective cohort study in Bangkok

K Okanurak, D Kitayaporn, P Akarasewi
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2008, 12 (10): 1160-5

SETTING: Chest Clinic, Ministry of Public Health and health care centres, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

OBJECTIVE: To determine patient factors predicting successful tuberculosis (TB) treatment.

DESIGN: A prospective cohort was conducted during May 2004 to November 2005. Newly diagnosed TB patients aged > or = 15 years were recruited after giving informed consent. Three sets of questionnaires were used to collect data from the patients three times. Data were also gathered from treatment cards.

RESULTS: Of 1241 patients, 81.1% were successfully treated. Bivariate analysis indicated that patients' sex, education, occupation, level of knowledge about TB and adverse effects were associated with treatment success. Unconditional logistic regression analysis showed that females had a higher success rate than males (OR = 1.9, 95%CI 1.2-2.9). Patients with regular incomes had twice the likelihood of success of the unemployed (OR = 2.0, 95%CI 1.1-3.5). Patients with high knowledge levels were more likely to complete treatment (OR = 2.0, 95%CI 1.2-3.4), while those with adverse effects were less likely to adhere (OR = 0.6, 95%CI 0.4-0.9).

CONCLUSION: The current low treatment success rate may be partly due to inadequate knowledge about TB among patients. Improvements in health education and early detection and management of adverse effects should be prioritised by the National Tuberculosis Programme.

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