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Free Content Factors determining compliance with tuberculosis treatment in an urban environment, Tamatave, Madagascar

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SETTING: Patient compliance remains one of the main obstacles that need to be overcome by tuberculosis control programmes, in the developing world as well as in industrialised countries. A better understanding of the various factors accounting for treatment default could help to achieve better compliance from patients.

OBJECTIVES: To increase the understanding of the determining factors of default in an urban environment where medical facilities are accessible. Different kinds of determinants were studied: objective socio-demographic factors, subjective psychological factors, attitudes and behaviour of patients in relation to chemotherapy, quality of relationships with the medical staff, knowledge and attitudes regarding tuberculosis.

DESIGN: Risk factors for default were assessed by a retrospective case-control study in a sample of 38 patients who had not completed treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis, compared with 111 controls who had completed treatment under comparable conditions.

RESULTS: Default appears to be significantly linked to transportation time, the sex of the patient, patient information and the quality of communication between patients and health workers. False addresses given by patients are both a methodological bias and a risk factor for future default.

CONCLUSION: Improved communication skills and attention from the medical staff could encourage more patients to complete their TB treatment.
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Keywords: Madagascar; defaulter; developing country; treatment; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Direction Régionale de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea, Madagascar 2: Service des Informations Sanitaires, Tananarive, Madagascar 3: Projet ‘Appui à la Santé Maternelle et Infantile’, Direction Régionale du Développement Sanitaire, Tamatave, Madagascar

Publication date: 1998-11-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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