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Free Content Private tuberculosis care provision associated with poor treatment outcome: comparative study of a semi-private lung clinic and the NTP in two urban districts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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SETTING: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

OBJECTIVE: To compare tuberculosis case management and treatment outcome between a semi-private chest clinic and a publicly run national tuberculosis programme (NTP).

METHOD: Prospective, non-randomised, comparative cohort study. Case-management and treatment outcome was determined for 176 patients treated in the semi-private clinic and 326 patients treated in the NTP.

RESULTS: In the semi-private clinic cohort, significantly fewer patients completed treatment and/or were cured than in the NTP cohort (48.9% vs. 85.0%, P < 0.001). Among patients with sputum-positive pulmonary TB, significantly fewer were cured in the semi-private clinic cohort compared to the NTP cohort (22.2% vs. 79.2%, P < 0.001), and treatment success was significantly lower (35.2% vs. 79.7%. P < 0.001). Adjustment for a number of potential confounders did not change these findings significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment outcome was considerably better in the NTP than in the semi-private clinic. The difference is not likely to be due to differences in patient characteristics or in provider knowledge. Different financial incentives for the providers in the two settings and ways of paying for services by patients are possible reasons for the observed difference in the quality of case management and treatment outcome.
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Keywords: cohort study; private health care; quality of care; treatment outcome; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Medicine, Göteborg University, Göteborg, and the Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg, Sweden 2: Pham Ngoc Thach TB and Lung Disease Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 3: Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association (KNCV), Den Haag, The Netherlands 4: Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg, and the Division of International Health, Karolinska Insitutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2003-02-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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