Total Delay Is Associated with Unfavorable Treatment Outcome among Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients in West Gojjam Zone, Northwest Ethiopia: A Prospective Cohort Study

Senedu Bekele Gebreegziabher, Gunnar Aksel Bjune, Solomon Abebe Yimer
PloS One 2016, 11 (7): e0159579

BACKGROUND: delay in diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) may worsen the disease, increase mortality and enhance transmission in the community. This study aimed at assessing the association between total delay and unfavorable treatment outcome among newly diagnosed pulmonary TB (PTB) patients.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in West Gojjam Zone, Amhara Region of Ethiopia from October 2013 to May 2015. Newly diagnosed PTB patients who were ≥15 years of age were consecutively enrolled in the study from 30 randomly selected public health facilities. Total delay (the time period from onset of TB symptoms to first start of anti-TB treatment) was measured. Median total delay was calculated. Mixed effect logistics regression was used to analyze factors associated with unfavorable treatment outcome.

RESULTS: Seven hundred six patients were enrolled in the study. The median total delay was 60 days. Patients with total delay of > 60 days were more likely to have unfavorable TB treatment outcome than patients with total delay of ≤ 60 days (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-5.26). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive TB patients were 8.46 times more likely to experience unfavorable treatment outcome than HIV negative TB patients (AOR, 8.46; 95% CI, 3.14-22.79).

CONCLUSIONS: Long total delay and TB/HIV coinfection were associated with unfavorable treatment outcome. Targeted interventions that can reduce delay in diagnosis and treatment of TB, and early comprehensive management of TB/HIV coinfection are needed to reduce increased risk of unfavorable treatment outcome.

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