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Open Access Adherence to anti-tuberculosis treatment in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

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Setting: Tuberculosis (TB) patients in Mekelle Zone, Tigray Region, in Ethiopia.

Objective: To investigate adherence to anti-tuberculosis treatment.

Design: A cross-sectional study in health facilities providing anti-tuberculosis treatment was conducted. Adherence was measured in three ways: through self-reported missed doses, by visual analogue scale whereby patients rate their own adherence and by record review. A patient was considered to be adherent if 90% or more of the prescribed medication was taken.

Result: Of 278 TB patients included, 101 were in the intensive and 177 in the continuation phase. Respectively 67 (24.1%), 130 (46.8%) and 80 (28.8%) patients had smear-positive, smear-negative and extra-pulmonary TB. Self-report of missed doses and record review indicated adherence of respectively 273 (97.3%) and 271 (97.5%) patients. By visual analogue scale, 250 (91.6%) patients rated themselves as adherent. History of drug side effects (aOR 0.25, 95%CI 0.08–0.77) and knowledge about TB prevention (aOR 0.19, 95%CI 0.05–0.8) were independently associated with being adherent in this setting.

Conclusion: Adherence to anti-tuberculosis treatment was high in our study. Adherence support should be given to the poor, the elderly, patients co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, alcohol abusers and smokers. Health education on TB prevention should be given to all TB patients regularly.
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Keywords: continuation phase; intensive phase; record review; risk factor; visual analogue scale

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia 2: Tigray Regional Health Bureau, Mekelle, Ethiopia 3: Mekelle Hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia 4: Tigray Regional Laboratory, Mekelle, Ethiopia 5: KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands, Department of Global Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: 21 December 2014

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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