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Free Content DOT in rural China: experience from a case study in Shandong Province, China

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SETTING: Four counties at varying levels of economic development in Shandong Province were sampled. All offered tuberculosis (TB) directly observed treatment (DOT) treatment at the County TB Dispensary (CTBD).

OBJECTIVE: To empirically document how DOT and home visits were implemented in rural China and to shed light on whether DOT is one of the key elements through which China achieves its high cure rates for TB.

DESIGN: A total of 404 rural smear-positive TB patients registered in the CTBDs were interviewed face-to-face with structured questionnaires. Village doctors and key informants from the CTBDs were also interviewed.

RESULTS: The majority of TB patients in rural areas do not receive DOT from village doctors and rarely get support, such as visits as required, from the CTBDs or township health providers in Shandong, China.

CONCLUSION: The lack of DOT in Shandong does not have a negative effect on TB treatment outcomes. Given that the DOTS strategy is still the core measure of TB control in China, implementation of other programme elements apart from DOT is necessary to ensure a successful TB treatment programme.
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Keywords: DOT; rural China; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Center for Health Management and Policy, Shandong University, Jinan, China 2: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 3: Jinan Central Hospital, Jinan, Shandong, China

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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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.

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