Free Content Factors associated with a clinician's decision to stop anti-tuberculosis treatment before completion

(PDF 70.9 kb)
Download Article:


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and factors associated with a clinician's decision to stop anti-tuberculosis treatment before completion.

DESIGN: The medical charts of all citizens of Taipei City, Taiwan, reported to have received treatment for PTB in 2003 were investigated.

RESULTS: Of 1126 PTB patients, 512 (45.5%) started treatment immediately based solely on chest X-ray (CXR) findings; treatment for 214 (19.0%) was based on a positive sputum smear for acid-fast bacilli, for 261 (23.2%) it was based on other findings and for 139 (12.3%) it was based on a positive mycobacterial culture. Of the 1126 PTB patients, 156 (13.9%) had their diagnosis of TB changed by a clinician. Multivariate analysis shows that patients whose diagnosis was based on CXR or other findings, female patients, patients who interrupted treatment for 2 months, patients who continued care at other health facilities (transfer) and patients with lung cancer were significantly more likely to have their diagnosis changed than other groups.

CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of patients were prescribed anti-tuberculosis treatment based on CXR findings alone, and a considerable proportion were advised to stop treatment before completing a full course, findings that require the immediate attention of Taiwan's National Tuberculosis Programme.

Keywords: Taiwan; diagnosis; treatment; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France 2: Taipei Medical University–Municipal Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan 3: National Tuberculosis Association, Taipei, Taiwan 4: Center for Disease Control, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
  • Public Health Action
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more