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Free Content Tuberculosis clinical units improve contact tracing

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INTRODUCTION: The Barcelona Tuberculosis Programme was established in 1987, and in 2007 five tuberculosis (TB) clinical units were created to improve the follow-up of cases and contacts. This included the designation of a nurse for case management.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of the TB clinical units on the screening programme for TB contacts.

METHODS: Before-after population-based study before (2003–2007) and after (2008–2013) the creation of the clinical units. To determine which factors were related to contact tracing, we fitted a multivariate logistic regression model to estimate odds ratios (OR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Following the creation of the clinical units, the proportion of prescriptions for latent tuberculous infection among contacts in the clinical units increased from 40.7% to 57.4% (P < 0.001), and treatment adherence from 75.9% to 80.3% (P = 0.035). One factor associated with contact tracing was receiving care after the creation of the clinical units (2008–2013) (OR 1.2, 95%CI 1.0–1.3). During the second period, receiving care outside the clinical units reduced the probability of contact tracing (OR 0.7, 95%CI 0.5–0.9).

CONCLUSION: The creation of the TB clinical units represents an organisational improvement for the study and management of contacts of patients with TB.
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Keywords: case management; effectiveness; epidemiology; public health; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Epidemiology Service, Public Health Agency of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 2: Epidemiology Service, Public Health Agency of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Centros de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid, Spain 3: Epidemiology Service, Public Health Agency of Barcelona, Spain; Barcelona, Centros de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid, Spain; Tuberculosis Investigation Unit of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 4: Barcelona Health Consortium, Barcelona, Spain 5: Epidemiology Service, Public Health Agency of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, Centros de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid, Spain, Tuberculosis Investigation Unit of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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

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