Legal intervention for non-adherent patients in the treatment of tuberculosis
OBJECTIVE: To review the application of legal procedures and to evaluate their effectiveness in the management of non-adherent TB patients.
METHODS: We evaluated this process by reviewing patients' records from 2001 to 2005 to identify all non-adherent patients and determine their treatment outcomes.
RESULTS: In this period, we initiated the legal process for 39 non-adherent patients. One patient died, and nine patients were lost. Twenty-nine patients became adherent after the use of a legal intervention. Our final completion percentage was 76.3%.
CONCLUSION: Our legal process improved the treatment completion rate for patients who would otherwise have been non-adherent. Increasing treatment completion rates reduce the risk of relapse and disease transmission as well as the growing rate of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Tuberculosis Control Program, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 2: Tuberculosis Control Program, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; and Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Publication date: 2009-03-01
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