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Free Content Assessment of health-related quality of life in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis under programme conditions

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SETTING: Newly diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients starting treatment under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) in a North Indian city.

OBJECTIVE: To quantify impairment in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of PTB patients at the time of diagnosis and during treatment, and to assess the utility of these assessments as a measure of outcome under programme conditions.

DESIGN: HRQoL was assessed using the Hindi version of the 26-item World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) scale at the start and end of the intensive phase and at completion of treatment. Four domain scores—physical, psychological, social relationships and environment—were calculated and compared between groups, based on different patient and disease characteristics. Psychometric evaluation was conducted by assessing acceptability, validity and responsiveness of the questionnaire.

RESULTS: A total of 2654 HRQoL assessments were performed among 1034 patients. Domain scores were generally better among men, urban residents, younger patients, patients with higher socio-economic status and those with less severe disease. The WHOQOL-BREF demonstrated good psychometric properties, and domain scores improved with treatment. Residual HRQoL impairment was noted in some patients even at treatment completion.

CONCLUSION: HRQoL is impaired in patients with PTB, and improves rapidly and significantly with programme-based treatment. HRQoL assessment can be used as an adjunct outcome measure for patients treated by the RNTCP.
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Keywords: health status; psychometrics; quality of life; questionnaire; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India 2: Department of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Publication date: 01 July 2013

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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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