MDR-TB in Puducherry, India: reduction in attrition and turnaround time in the diagnosis and treatment pathway

H D Shewade, S Govindarajan, P Thekkur, C Palanivel, M Muthaiah, A M V Kumar, V Gupta, B N Sharath, J P Tripathy, K Vivekananda, G Roy
Public Health Action 2016 December 21, 6 (4): 242-246
Setting: A mixed-methods operational research (OR) study was conducted to examine the diagnosis and treatment pathway of patients with presumptive multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) during 2012-2013 under the national TB programme in Puducherry, India. High pre-diagnosis and pre-treatment attrition and the reasons for these were identified. The recommendations from this OR were implemented and we planned to assess systematically whether there were any improvements. Objectives: Among patients with presumptive MDR-TB (July-December 2014), 1) to determine pre-diagnosis and pre-treatment attrition, 2) to determine factors associated with pre-diagnosis attrition, 3) to determine the turnaround time (TAT) from eligibility to testing and from diagnosis to treatment initiation, and 4) to compare these findings with those of the previous study (2012-2013). Design: This was a retrospective cohort study based on record review. Results: Compared to the previous study, there was a decrease in pre-diagnosis attrition from 45% to 24% (P < 0.001), in pre-treatment attrition from 29% to 0% (P = 0.18), in the TAT from eligibility to testing from a median of 11 days to 10 days (P = 0.89) and in the TAT from diagnosis to treatment initiation from a median of 38 days to 19 days (P = 0.04). There is further scope for reducing pre-diagnosis attrition by addressing the high risk of patients with human immunodeficiency virus and TB co-infection or those with extra-pulmonary TB not undergoing drug susceptibility testing. Conclusion: The implementation of findings from OR resulted in improved programme outcomes.


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