Preparedness of outpatient health facilities for ambulatory treatment with all-oral short DR-TB treatment regimens in Zhytomyr, Ukraine: a cross-sectional study.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:<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: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:OBJECTIVES:To understand the challenges faced by patients with tuberculosis (TB) and factors that influence TB treatment adherence in Ukraine. DESIGN:Qualitative study. SETTING:TB treatment facilities in Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine. PARTICIPANTS:Sixty adults who had undergone treatment for drug-sensitive TB between June 2012 and August 2015. METHODS:We conducted semistructured, in-depth, individual interviews among a purposively selected clinical sample of patients previously treated for drug-sensitive TB. Interview content encompassed WHO's framework for barriers to adherence to long-term therapies and included questions about patient preferences and motivators concerning treatment adherence. We examined treatment experience across strata defined by previously identified risk correlates of non-adherence. RESULTS:Among 60 participants, 19 (32.8%) were HIV positive, 12 (20.3%) had substance use disorder and 9 (15.0%) had not completed TB treatment. Respondents discussed the psychological distress associated with hospital-based TB care, as well as perceived unsupportive, antagonistic interactions with TB providers as major challenges to treatment adherence. An additional barrier to successful treatment completion included the financial toll of lost income during TB treatment, which was exacerbated by the additional costs of ancillary medications and transportation to ambulatory TB clinics. The high pill burden of TB treatment also undermined adherence. These challenges were endorsed among participants with and without major risk factors for non-adherence. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings highlight important barriers to TB treatment adherence in this study population and suggest specific interventions that may be beneficial in mitigating high rates of poor treatment outcomes for TB in Ukraine.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tuberculosis (TB) patients incur large costs for care seeking, diagnosis, and treatment. To understand the magnitude of this financial burden and its main cost drivers, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) National TB Programme carried out the first national TB patient cost survey in 2018-2019. METHOD:A facility-based cross-sectional survey was conducted based on a nationally representative sample of TB patients from public health facilities across 12 provinces. A total of 848 TB patients including 30 drug resistant (DR)-TB and 123 TB-HIV coinfected patients were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization. Information on direct medical, direct non-medical and indirect costs, as well as coping mechanisms was collected. We estimated the percentage of TB-affected households facing catastrophic costs, which was defined as total TB-related costs accounting for more than 20% of annual household income. RESULT:The median total cost of TB care was US$ 755 (Interquartile range 351-1,454). The costs were driven by direct non-medical costs (46.6%) and income loss (37.6%). Nutritional supplements accounted for 74.7% of direct non-medical costs. Half of the patients used savings, borrowed money or sold household assets to cope with TB. The proportion of unemployment more than doubled from 16.8% to 35.4% during the TB episode, especially among those working in the informal sector. Of all participants, 62.6% of TB-affected households faced catastrophic costs. This proportion was higher among households with DR-TB (86.7%) and TB-HIV coinfected patients (81.1%). CONCLUSION:In Lao PDR, TB patients and their households faced a substantial financial burden due to TB, despite the availability of free TB services in public health facilities. As direct non-medical and indirect costs were major cost drivers, providing free TB services is not enough to ease this financial burden. Expansion of existing social protection schemes to accommodate the needs of TB patients is necessary.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>There is limited information about the psychosocial sub-determinants regarding the use of HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) services among suspected Tuberculosis (TB) patients in Sudan. This study aimed to assess the association between psychosocial beliefs and the intention to use HTC services and to establish the relevance of these beliefs for developing behaviour change interventions among suspected TB patients.<h4>Methods</h4>Suspected TB patients (N?=?383) from four separate TB facilities completed a cross-sectional questionnaire which was based on the Reasoned Action Approach theory. Eligibility criteria included attending Tuberculosis Management Units in Kassala State as suspected TB patients and aged 18-64?years. A Confidence Interval Based Estimation of Relevance (CIBER) analysis approach was employed to investigate the association of the beliefs with the intention to use HTC services and to establish their relevance to be targeted in behaviour change interventions.<h4>Results</h4>The CIBER results showed the beliefs included in the study accounted for 59 to 70% of the variance in intention to use HTC services. The belief "My friends think I have to use HTC services" was positively associated with the intent to use HTC, and it is highly relevant for intervention development. The belief "I would fear to be stigmatized if I get a HIV positive result" was negatively related to the intention to use HTC services and was considered a highly relevant belief. The belief "If I use HTC services, health care providers will keep my HIV test result confidential" was strongly associated with the intention to use HTC services. However, the relevance of this belief as a target for future interventions development was relatively low. Past experience with HTC services was weakly associated with the intention to use HTC services.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The intention to use HTC was a function of psychosocial beliefs. The beliefs investigated varied in their relevance for interventions designed to encourage the use of HTC services. Interventions to promote intention to use HIV testing and counselling services should address the most relevant beliefs (sub-determinants). Further study is needed to establish the relevance of sub-determinants of the intention to use HTC services for interventions development.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a growing concern in many low-income and middle-income countries. Facing rising numbers of DR-TB patients, South Africa (SA) introduced a decentralised model of care for DR-TB in 2011. We aimed to document the introduction and implementation of the new models of care for patients with DR-TB in four provinces (Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng) in 2015 using mixed methods, including interviews, register reviews and clinical audits. This paper reports on the qualitative component of the study. DESIGN:This is a qualitative interview study. SETTING:Data were collected in 22 decentralised DR-TB sites, primary healthcare facilities and district hospitals and one provincial central DR-TB hospital. PARTICIPANTS:58 healthcare workers (HCWs), facility staff and provincial and district TB coordinators were included in qualitative interviews. RESULTS:HCWs felt that the introduction of DR-TB care in their facility came with little warning or engagement, creating fear and anxiety. They expressed a need for support from the district and province to guide them through the changes but this support was often lacking. In addition, many respondents expressed feeling isolated and not supported by other healthcare providers which they feel impacts on the quality of the care they provide. CONCLUSION:Introduction of a new service such as DR-TB care can be difficult and does not always result in the intended outcomes. Improved engagement with front-line providers and addressing the fear and anxiety that may be raised by changes in daily practices should be addressed to ensure successful implementation and prevent negative consequences that can hamper quality of care for patients. Attention should be paid to how the decentralised DR-TB unit can be supported by district management and other healthcare providers.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is one of the major public health threats in low-income countries such as Ethiopia. It is intertwined with larger socioeconomic and political factors that complicate its management and control. Whether directly observed therapy (DOT) is serving its purpose-better patient adherence and treatment outcome-still remains a debatable issue. To contribute to this discussion, this study explored health workers' field experiences tinkering with DOT in patients with DR-TB in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. DESIGN:A qualitative study using in-depth interviews and focus group discussion. SETTING:Ten public healthcare facilities: eight health centres at Addis Ababa Health Bureau level and two TB-specialised hospitals at the Federal Health Bureau level in Ethiopia. PARTICIPANTS:18 healthcare providers working with DR-TB patients. RESULTS:Three findings emerged from the analysis. First, the purpose of DOT is to ensure that patients go to healthcare facilities and swallow pills under the observation of a healthcare provider. Thus, its rigid application could lead to the emergence of more DR-TB. Second, DOT should be tinkered with and its practice improved by incorporating more counselling and health education, with more flexibility towards, and attentiveness of, patient context. Third, there exists a family-like patient-provider relationship, and providers do understand their patients and empathise with them to provide better healthcare services. CONCLUSION:If rigidly implemented, DOT could lead to more DR-TB-a problem DOT was invented to resolve. Front-line healthcare providers are sensitive to the tragic experiences of DR-TB patients and empathise with them. Thus, they do not strictly implement DOT and are willing to take any blame resulting from tinkering with it. It is high time to shape the practice of DOT for DR-TB patients, with meaningful contributions from front-line healthcare providers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) remains a major health security threat worldwide. The effectiveness of implementation of DR-TB control strategies has been a subject of research and controversy. In resource-limited settings, using conventional medicine as the only framework to explain DR-TB gives a rather incomplete picture of the disease. This study intended to explore the perceptions and experiences of healthcare workers on the management and control of DR-TB in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. METHODS:The study employed a qualitative methodology with an inductive approach and a thematic analysis. It involved in-depth interviews with healthcare workers providing clinical services to DR-TB patients in 10 public healthcare facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. RESULTS:A total of 18 healthcare workers participated until data saturation, which included 12 clinical nurses, four health officers and two medical laboratory technicians. The findings show that healthcare workers perceive DR-TB as a growing public health threat in Ethiopia, due to factors such as poverty, poor nutrition, crowded settings, healthcare worker and general public awareness of DR-TB, lack of good governance and culture. CONCLUSION:The perspectives drawn from the healthcare workers shed more light on the image of DR-TB in a developing country context. It has been shown that understanding DR-TB is not confined to what can be drawn from the sphere of biomedicine. There are also interconnected barriers, which predict a dystopia in the epidemiology of DR-TB. Bringing DR-TB under control requires taking a step back from an overwhelming focus on the biomedical facets of the disease, and employ critical thinking on the wider social and structural forces as equally important targets.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In Ghana, limited evidence exists about the geographical accessibility to health facilities providing tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic services to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, we aimed to assess the geographic accessibility to public health facilities providing TB testing services at point-of-care (POC) in the Upper East Region (UER), Ghana. METHODS:We assembled detailed spatial data on all 10 health facilities providing TB testing services at POC, and landscape features influencing journeys. These data were used in a geospatial model to estimate actual distance and travel time from the residential areas of the population to health facilities providing TB testing services. Maps displaying the distance values were produced using ArcGIS Desktop v10.4. Spatial distribution of the health facilities was done using spatial autocorrelation (Global Moran's Index) run in ArcMap 10.4.1. We also applied remote sensing through satellite imagery analysis to map out residential areas and identified locations for targeted improvement in the UER. RESULTS:Of the 13 districts in the UER, 4 (31%) did not have any health facility providing TB testing services. In all, 10 public health facilities providing TB testing services at POC were available in the region representing an estimated population to health facility ratio of 125,000 people per facility. Majority (60%) of the health facilities providing TB testing services in the region were in districts with a total population greater than 100,000 people. Majority (62%) of the population resident in the region were located more than 10 km away from a health facility providing TB testing services. The mean distance ± standard deviation to the nearest public health facility providing TB testing services in UER was 33.2 km ± 13.5. Whilst the mean travel time using a motorized tricycle speed of 20 km/h to the nearest facility providing TB testing services in the UER was 99.6 min ± 41.6. The results of the satellite imagery analysis show that 51 additional health facilities providing TB testing services at POC are required to improve geographical accessibility. The results of the spatial autocorrelation analysis show that the spatial distribution of the health facilities was dispersed (z-score = - 2.3; p = 0.02). CONCLUSION:There is poor geographic accessibility to public health facilities providing TB testing services at POC in the UER of Ghana. Targeted improvement of rural PHC clinics in the UER to enable them provide TB testing services at POC is highly recommended.