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Open Access Comparison of tuberculosis treatment outcomes by method of treatment supervision in the Fiji Islands

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Setting: The National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) in Fiji.

Objective: To determine anti-tuberculosis treatment outcomes stratified by method of treatment supervision (i.e., self-administered treatment [SAT] vs. supervision by a family member).

Design: A retrospective descriptive study of all tuberculosis (TB) patients registered with the NTP in Fiji between January 2011 and June 2013.

Results: Of 563 TB patients registered, information on the type of treatment supervisor was available for 470 (83%). Of these, most (n = 401, 85%) had their treatment supervised by a family member, while 69 (15%) elected SAT. SAT patients had a treatment success rate of 79.4% compared to 88.5% in those supervised by a family member; the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.0374).

Conclusion: Anti-tuberculosis treatment outcomes were more likely to be successful in patients who were supervised by a family member than in SAT patients. As this method of treatment supervision is not likely to be resource-intensive, we recommend that it continue in Fiji. Further prospective operational research could be carried out to determine patient preferences for anti-tuberculosis treatment supervision in Fiji, to promote a patient-centred approach.
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Keywords: Fiji; directly observed treatment; self-administered; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Grant Management Unit, Ministry of Health Fiji Islands, Suva, Fiji 2: Public Health Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Nouméa, New Caledonia, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia 3: College of Nursing, Medicine and Health Sciences, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji

Publication date: September 21, 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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