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Free Content Tuberculosis treatment default at the Communicable Diseases Unit of Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital: a 2-year experience

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SETTING: Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital, located at Sekondi-Takoradi, the capital and third largest city of the Western Region of Ghana.

OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with treatment default among tuberculosis (TB) patients registered for treatment in 2000–2001.

DESIGN: Retrospective review of institutional records of TB patients.

METHOD: The database for registered TB patients was sorted out into the six treatment outcomes. Five outcomes were combined into one variable named ‘non-defaulters’ and were compared with defaulters. Statistical significance was taken as P < 0.05.

RESULTS: The defaulter rate for all categories of patients was 13.9%. Default from treatment was significantly associated with male sex, smear positivity and living in communities far from the treatment centre. Patients in the 25–44 year age group and those put on the retreatment regimen have higher defaulter rates, but these were not statistically significant when compared to non-defaulters. The mean defaulting moment was 3.4 months. The overall probability of a patient remaining on treatment 5 months after starting was 3.6%.

CONCLUSION: Treatment centres should be sited near the patients to improve access. Further studies are needed to identify the barriers for patients in completing their treatment.
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Keywords: Ghana; compliance; defaulter; treatment; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Communicable Diseases Unit, Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Sekondi, Ghana

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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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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