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Free Content Predicting completion of treatment among foreign-born adolescents treated for latent tuberculosis infection in Los Angeles

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SETTING: Two health clinics in Los Angeles County, California.

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with completion of care among foreign-born adolescents treated for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI).

DESIGN: A total of 766 low-income adolescents (79% participation rate), including 610 foreign-born, were recruited. In prospective face-to-face interviews, data were obtained on socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics, psychosocial factors and clinic-related variables. Medical chart data were abstracted regarding clinic appointment keeping and completion of treatment. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with completion of care.

RESULTS: Foreign-born adolescents were more likely to complete care than US-born adolescents, with 82% completion of care rate. In logistic regression analyses after controlling for age, medication taking behavior (OR 1.26, 95%CI 1.15–1.39), living with both parents (OR 1.74, 95%CI 1.02–2.97), sexual intercourse (OR 0.66, 95%CI 0.36–1.19) and speaking mostly or only English with parents (OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.15–1.03) were independently associated with completion of care.

CONCLUSION: These findings contribute to our understanding of the factors that may explain why some adolescents complete care whereas others do not. They provide supportive evidence that tailored intervention programs should be developed to support the screening and completion of treatment of foreign-born adolescents.
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Keywords: adolescence; emigration; immigration; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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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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