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Open Access MDR-TB in Puducherry, India: reduction in attrition and turnaround time in the diagnosis and treatment pathway

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Setting: A mixed-methods operational research (OR) study was conducted to examine the diagnosis and treatment pathway of patients with presumptive multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) during 20122013 under the national TB programme in Puducherry, India. High pre-diagnosis and pre-treatment attrition and the reasons for these were identified. The recommendations from this OR were implemented and we planned to assess systematically whether there were any improvements.

Objectives: Among patients with presumptive MDR-TB (JulyDecember 2014), 1) to determine pre-diagnosis and pre-treatment attrition, 2) to determine factors associated with pre-diagnosis attrition, 3) to determine the turnaround time (TAT) from eligibility to testing and from diagnosis to treatment initiation, and 4) to compare these findings with those of the previous study (2012–2013).

Design: This was a retrospective cohort study based on record review.

Results: Compared to the previous study, there was a decrease in pre-diagnosis attrition from 45% to 24% (P < 0.001), in pre-treatment attrition from 29% to 0% (P = 0.18), in the TAT from eligibility to testing from a median of 11 days to 10 days (P = 0.89) and in the TAT from diagnosis to treatment initiation from a median of 38 days to 19 days (P = 0.04). There is further scope for reducing pre-diagnosis attrition by addressing the high risk of patients with human immunodeficiency virus and TB co-infection or those with extra-pulmonary TB not undergoing drug susceptibility testing.

Conclusion: The implementation of findings from OR resulted in improved programme outcomes.
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Keywords: control; delays; diagnosis; multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; operational research; prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India 2: State TB Cell, Directorate of Health Services, Puducherry, India 3: Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India, Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India 4: Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India 5: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India, The Union, Paris, France 6: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India, Department of Community Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India 7: Department of Community Medicine, Employee's State Insurance Corporation Medical College, Bengaluru, India

Publication date: December 21, 2016

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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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