"My Favourite Day Is Sunday": Community Perceptions of (Drug-Resistant) Tuberculosis and Ambulatory Tuberculosis Care in Kara Suu District, Osh Province, Kyrgyzstan.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Kyrgyzstan is one of the 27 high multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) burden countries listed by the WHO. In 2012, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started a drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) project in Kara Suu District. A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the perception of TB and DR-TB in order to improve the effectiveness and acceptance of the MSF intervention and to support advocacy strategies for an ambulatory model of care. METHODS:This paper reports findings from 63 interviews with patients, caregivers, health care providers and members of communities. Data was analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Validation was ensured by triangulation and a 'thick' description of the research context, and by presenting deviant cases. RESULTS:Findings show that the general population interprets TB as the 'lungs having a cold' or as a 'family disease' rather than as an infectious illness. From their perspective, individuals facing poor living conditions are more likely to get TB than wealthier people. Vulnerable groups such as drug and alcohol users, homeless persons, ethnic minorities and young women face barriers in accessing health care. As also reported in other publications, TB is highly stigmatised and possible side effects of the long treatment course are seen as unbearable; therefore, people only turn to public health care quite late. Most patients prefer ambulatory treatment because of the much needed emotional support from their social environment, which positively impacts treatment concordance. Health care providers favour inpatient treatment only for a better monitoring of side effects. Health staff increasingly acknowledges the central role they play in supporting DR-TB patients, and the importance of assuming a more empathic attitude. CONCLUSIONS:Health promotion activities should aim at improving knowledge on TB and DR-TB, reducing stigma, and fostering the inclusion of vulnerable populations. Health seeking delays and adherence problems will be countered by further implementation of shortened treatment regimens. An ambulatory model of care is proposed when convenient for the patient; hospitalisation is favoured only when seen as more appropriate for the respective individual.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ukraine has a high burden of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). Mental health problems, including alcohol use disorder, are common co-morbidities. One in five DR-TB patients has human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As part of health reform, the country is moving from inpatient care to ambulatory primary care for tuberculosis (TB). In Zhytomyr oblast, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is supporting care for DR-TB patients on all-oral short DR-TB regimens. This study describes the preparedness of ambulatory care facilities in Zhytomyr oblast, Ukraine, to provide good quality ambulatory care. METHODS:This is a retrospective analysis of routinely collected programme data. Before discharge of every patient from the hospital, MSF teams assess services available at outpatient facilities using a standardised questionnaire. The assessment evaluates access, human resources, availability of medicines, infection control measures, laboratory and diagnostic services, and psychosocial support. RESULTS:We visited 68 outpatient facilities in 22 districts between June 2018 and September 2019. Twenty-seven health posts, 24?TB-units, 13 ambulatories, two family doctors and one polyclinic, serving 30% of DR-TB patients in the oblast by September 2019, were included. All facilities provided directly observed treatment, but only seven (10%) provided weekend-services. All facilities had at least one medical staff member, but TB-training was insufficient and mostly limited to TB-doctors. TB-treatment and adequate storage space were available in all facilities, but only five (8%) had ancillary medicines. HIV-positive patients had to visit a separate facility to access HIV-care. Personal protective equipment was unavailable in 32 (55%) facilities. Basic laboratory services were available in TB-units, but only four (17%) performed audiometry. Only ten (42%) TB-units had psychosocial support available, and nine (38%) offered psychiatric support. CONCLUSION:Outpatient facilities in Zhytomyr oblast are not yet prepared to provide comprehensive care for DR-TB patients. Capacity of all facilities needs strengthening with trainings, infection control measures and infrastructure. Integration of psychosocial services, treatment of co-morbidities and adverse events at the same facility are essential for successful decentralisation. The health reform is an opportunity to establish quality, patient-centred care.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Directly-observed therapy (DOT) is recommended for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) patients during their entire treatment duration. However, there is limited published evidence on implementation of direct observation (DO) in the field. This study aims to detail whether DO was followed with DR-TB patients in a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) tuberculosis program in Mumbai, India. METHODS:This was a cross-sectional, mixed-methods study. Existing qualitative data from a purposively-selected subset of 12 patients, 5 DOT-providers and 5 family members, were assessed in order to determine how DO was implemented. A questionnaire-based survey of DR-TB patients, their DOT-providers and MSF staff was completed between June and August 2014. Patients were defined as"following Strict DO" and "following DO" if a DOT-provider had seen the patient swallow his/her medications "every day" or "most of the days" respectively. If DO was not followed, reasons were also recorded. The qualitative data were analysed for theme and content and used to supplement the questionnaire-based data. RESULTS:A total of 70 DR-TB patients, 65 DOT-providers and 21 MSF health staff were included. Fifty-five per cent of the patients were HIV-co-infected and 41% had multidrug-resistant-TB plus additional resistance to a fluoroquinolone. Among all patients, only 14% (10/70) and 20% (14/70) self-reported "following Strict DO" and "following DO" respectively. Among DOT-providers, 46% (30/65) reported that their patients "followed DO". MSF health staff reported none of the patients "followed DO". Reasons for not implementing DO included the unavailability of DOT-provider, time spent, stigma and treatment adverse events. The qualitative data also revealed that "Strict DO" was rarely followed and noted the same reasons for lack of implementation. CONCLUSION:This mixed-methods study has found that a majority of patients with DR-TB in Mumbai did not follow DO, and this was reported by patients and care-providers. These data likely reflect the reality of DO implementation in many high-burden settings, since this relatively small cohort was supported and closely monitored by a skilled team with access to multiple resources. The findings raise important concerns about the necessity of DO as a "pillar" of DR-TB treatment which need further validation in other settings. They also suggest that patient-centred adherence strategies might be better approaches for supporting patients on treatment.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Provision of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) treatment is scarce in resource-limited settings. We assessed the feasibility of ambulatory DR-TB care for treatment expansion in rural Eswatini.<h4>Methods</h4>Retrospective patient-level data were used to evaluate ambulatory DR-TB treatment provision in rural Shiselweni (Eswatini), from 2008 to 2016. DR-TB care was either clinic-based led by nurses or community-based at the patient's home with involvement of community treatment supporters for provision of treatment to patients with difficulties in accessing facilities. We describe programmatic outcomes and used multivariate flexible parametric survival models to assess time to adverse outcomes. Both care models were costed in supplementary analyses.<h4>Results</h4>Of 698 patients initiated on DR-TB treatment, 57% were women and 84% were HIV-positive. Treatment initiations increased from 27 in 2008 to 127 in 2011 and decreased thereafter to 51 in 2016. Proportionally, community-based care increased from 19% in 2009 to 77% in 2016. Treatment success was higher for community-based care (79%) than clinic-based care (68%, P = 0.002). After adjustment for covariate factors among adults (n = 552), the risk of adverse outcomes (death, loss to follow-up, treatment failure) in community-based care was reduced by 41% (adjusted hazard ratio 0.59, 95% CI: 0.39-0.91). Findings were supported by sensitivity analyses. The care provider's per-patient costs for community-based (USD13 345) and clinic-based (USD12 990) care were similar.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Ambulatory treatment outcomes were good, and community-based care achieved better treatment outcomes than clinic-based care at comparable costs. Contextualised DR-TB care programmes are feasible and can support treatment expansion in rural settings.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There were an estimated 580,000 new cases of multidrug/rifampicin resistant TB (DR-TB) in 2015, and only 20% were initiated on treatment. This study explored health system and patient factors associated with initiation and timeliness of treatment among DR-TB patients in Nigeria, ranked 4th globally for estimated TB cases in 2015. METHODS:A retrospective cohort study using 2015 diagnosis and treatment data from the Nigerian TB program electronic records examined "treatment ever received" (yes/no) and "treatment within 30 days" (yes/no). We compared health system and patient characteristics using binomial logistic regression, while controlling for confounders. RESULTS:Of 996 patients diagnosed nationwide in 2015 (aged 0-87 years, median 34), 47.8% were never treated. Of those treated (n = 520), 51.2% were treated within the 30 days prescribed in the National treatment guideline. Healthcare facility locations were significantly associated with ever receiving treatment and timely treatment. Predictors of timely treatment at the national level also included level of care and patient treatment history. The South-West zone, where DR-TB programs started, showed overall better access to DR-TB healthcare. CONCLUSIONS:Healthcare facility geographic locations were significantly associated with treatment initiation and timeliness. Significant regional differences in access to DR-TB care in Nigeria persist, reflecting uneven contexts for national DR-TB treatment rollout.
Project description:Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (DR-TB) are a significant cause of global morbidity and mortality and the treatment of DR-TB is characterized by long and toxic regimens that result in low rates of cure. There are few formal studies documenting the quality of DR-TB treatment services provided globally, but the limited data that do exist show there is a quality crisis in the field. This paper reviews current issues impacting quality of care in DR-TB, including within the areas of patient-centeredness, safety, effectiveness and equity. Specific issues affecting DR-TB quality of care include: 1) the use of regimens with limited efficacy, significant toxicity, and high pill burden; 2) standardized treatment without drug susceptibility testing; 3) non-quality assured medications and drug stock outs; 4) lack of access to newer and repurposed drugs; 5) high rates of adverse events coupled with minimal monitoring and management; 6) care provided by multiple providers in the private sector; 7) depression, anxiety, and stress; and 8) stigma and discrimination. The paper discusses potential ways to improve quality in each of these areas and concludes that many of these issues arise from the traditional "public health approach" to TB and will only transformed when a human-rights based approach is put into practice.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Globally, drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) continues to be a public health threat. Nigeria, which accounts for a significant proportion of the global burden of rifampicin/multi-drug resistant-TB (RR/MDR-TB) had a funding gap of $168 million dollars for TB treatment in 2018. Since 2010, Nigeria has utilized five different models of care for RR/MDR-TB (Models A-E); Models A, B and C based on a standardized WHO-approved treatment regimen of 20-24 months, were phased out between 2015 and 2019 and replaced by Models D and E. Model D is a fully ambulatory model of 9-12 months during which a shorter treatment regimen including a second-line injectable agent is utilized. Model E is identical to Model D but has patients hospitalized for the first four months of care while Model F which is to be introduced in 2020, is a fully ambulatory, oral bedaquiline-containing shorter treatment regimen of 9-12 months. Treatment models for RR/MDR-TB of 20-24 months duration have had treatment success rates of 52-66% while shorter treatment regimens have reported success rates of 85% and above. In addition, replacing the second-line injectable agent in a shorter treatment regimen with bedaquiline has been found to further improve treatment success in patients with fluoroquinolone-susceptible RR/MDR-TB. Reliable cost data for RR/MDR-TB care are limited, specifically costs of models that utilize shorter treatment regimens and which are vital to guide Nigeria through the provision of RR/MDR-TB care at scale. We therefore conducted a cost analysis of shorter treatment regimens in use and to be used in Nigeria (Models D, E and F) and compared them to three models of longer duration utilized previously in Nigeria (Models A, B and C) to identify any changes in cost from transitioning from Models A-C to Models D-F and opportunities for cost savings.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>We obtained costs for TB diagnostic and monitoring tests, in-patient and out-patient care from a previous study, inflated these costs to 2019 NGN and then converted to 2020 USD. We obtained other costs from the average of six health facilities and drug costs from the global drug facility. We modeled treatment on strict adherence to two Nigerian National guidelines for programmatic and clinical management of drug-resistant tuberculosis.<br><br><b>Results: </b>We estimated that the total costs of care from the health sector perspective for Models D, E and F were $4,334, $7,705 and $3,420 respectively. This is significantly lower than the costs of Models A, B and C which were $14,781, $12, 113, $7,572 respectively.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>Replacing Models A-C with Models D and E reduced the costs of RR/MDR-TB care in Nigeria by approximately $5,470 (48%) per patient treated and transitioning from Models D and E to Model F would result in further cost savings of $914 to $4,285 (21 to 56%) for every patient placed on Model F. If the improved outcomes of patients managed using bedaquiline-containing shorter treatment regimens in other countries can be attained in Nigeria, Model F would be the recommended model for the scale up of RR/MDR-TB care in Nigeria.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Drug-Resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is estimated to cause about 10% of all TB related deaths. There is dearth of data on determinants of DR-TB mortality in Nigeria. Death among DR-TB treated cohorts in Nigeria from 2010 to 2013 was 30%, 29%, 15% and 13% respectively. Our objective was to identify factors affecting survival among DR-TB patients in northern Nigeria. METHODS:Demographic and clinical data of all DR-TB patients enrolled in Kano, Katsina and Bauchi states of Nigeria between 1st February 2015 and 30th November 2016 was used. Survival analysis was done using Kaplan-Meier and multiple regression with Cox proportional hazard modeling. RESULTS:Mean time to death during treatment is 19.2 weeks and 3.9 weeks among those awaiting treatment. Death was recorded among 38 of the 147 DR-TB patients assessed. HIV co-infection significantly increased probability of mortality, with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 2.35, 95% CI: 1.05-5.29, p = 0.038. Treatment delay showed significant negative association with survival (p = 0.000), not starting treatment significantly reduced probability of survival with an aHR of 7.98, 95% CI: 2.83-22.51, p = 0.000. Adjusted hazard ratios for patients started on treatment more than eight weeks after detection or within two to four weeks after detection, was beneficial though not statistically significant with respective p-values of 0.056 and 0.092. The model of care (facility vs. community-based) did not significantly influence survival. CONCLUSION:Both HIV co-infected DR-TB patients and DR-TB patients that fail to start treatment immediately after diagnosis are at significant risk of mortality. Our study showed no significant difference in mortality based on models of care. The study highlights the need to address programmatic and operational issues pertaining to treatment delays and strengthening DR-TB/HIV co-management as key strategies to reduce mortality.
Project description:Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is challenging to diagnose, treat, and prevent, but this situation is slowly changing. If the world is to drastically reduce the incidence of DR-TB, we must stop creating new DR-TB as an essential first step. The DR-TB epidemic that is ongoing should also be directly addressed. First-line drug resistance must be rapidly detected using universal molecular testing for resistance to at least rifampin and, preferably, other key drugs at initial TB diagnosis. DR-TB treatment outcomes must also improve dramatically. Effective use of currently available, new, and repurposed drugs, combined with patient-centered treatment that aids adherence and reduces catastrophic costs, are essential. Innovations within sight, such as short, highly effective, broadly indicated regimens, paired with point-of-care drug susceptibility testing, could accelerate progress in treatment outcomes. Preventing or containing resistance to second-line and novel drugs is also critical and will require high-quality systems for diagnosis, regimen selection, and treatment monitoring. Finally, earlier detection and/or prevention of DR-TB is necessary, with particular attention to airborne infection control, case finding, and preventive therapy for contacts of patients with DR-TB. Implementing these strategies can overcome the barrier that DR-TB represents for global TB elimination efforts, and could ultimately make global elimination of DR-TB (fewer than one annual case per million population worldwide) attainable. There is a strong cost-effectiveness case to support pursuing DR-TB elimination; however, achieving this goal will require substantial global investment plus political and societal commitment at national and local levels.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The Indian Tuberculosis (TB) Programme currently faces the dual challenges of tackling increasing numbers of drug resistant (DR) TB cases and regulating practices of a pluralistic private sector catering to TB patients. A study of health seeking behaviour of DR-TB patients in such a situation, offers an opportunity to understand the problems patients face while interacting with health systems. METHODOLOGY:Forty-six DR-TB patients drawn from 15 high TB burden wards in Mumbai were interviewed using an open ended interview tool. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Pathway schematics developed from analysis of patient records, were linked to transcripts. Open coding was used to analyse these units and themes were derived after collating the codes. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:The paper presents themes interwoven with narratives in the discussions. These include awareness-action gap among patients, role of neighbourhood providers, responsiveness of health systems, the not-such a 'merry go round' that patients go/are made to go on while seeking care, costs of diagnostics and treatment, and how DR-TB is viewed as the 'big TB'. CONCLUSION:The recommendations are based on a preventative ethos which is sustainable, compared to interventions with top-down approaches, which get piloted, but fail to sustain impact when scaled up.
Project description:In 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) established a blogging project, "TB&Me," to enable patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) to share their experiences. By September 2012, 13 MDR-TB patients had blogged, either directly or with assistance, from the UK, Australia, Philippines, Swaziland, Central African Republic, Uganda, South Africa, India, and Armenia. Due to the lack of research on the potential for social media to support MDR-TB treatment and the innovative nature of the blog, we decided to conduct a qualitative study to examine patient and staff experiences. Our aim was to identify potential risks and benefits associated with blogging to enable us to determine whether social media had a role to play in supporting patients with MDR-TB.Participants were identified and selected purposively. TB&Me bloggers, project staff, MSF headquarters staff involved with TB and WHO European Region TB policy advisors were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. Twenty interviews were conducted (five with bloggers). Data analysis drew upon principles of grounded theory, with constant comparison of data, cases and categories, and attention to deviant cases. We found that the TB&Me blog was associated with identified health benefits, with no reported instances of harm. There were three main findings: blogging was reported as useful for adherence to DR-TB treatment and supportive of the treatment-taking process by all bloggers and project staff; blogging provided support to patients (peer support, shared experience and reduction in isolation); and the blog was perceived as giving patients strength and voice.The TB&Me blog was seen to be associated with positive identified health and emotional benefits. Component 5 of the Stop TB Global Plan highlights the importance of empowering TB patients and communities. Blogging could be a useful tool to help achieve that ambition.