Psychosocial Support Improves Treatment Adherence Among MDR-TB Patients: Experience from East Kazakhstan

The Open Infectious Diseases Journal 19 Apr 2013 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874279301307010060


A novel patient–oriented treatment delivery program was introduced for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients at high risk of treatment default in East Kazakhstan region, The Republic of Kazakhstan. In parallel interventions were introduced to improve programmatic and clinical management for all MDR-TB patients. To assess the effects of the patient support program on patient default rates, we analyzed the characteristics of MDR-TB patients referred to the psychosocial support (PSS) program, treatment adherence before and during the intervention for patients referred to the patient support program.

In 2010, the total number of MDR-patients starting second-line drug MDR-TB treatment was 426. The PSS program supported 228 (53%) patients considered to be at high risk of treatment default. The program contributed to strengthening of management of all MDR-TB patients during the ambulatory, continuation phase of treatment. The proportion of drug doses taken under direct observation improved from 48% to 97%, while division of intake of second-line anti-TB drugs in 2-3 portions per day decreased from 20% in 2009 to 0%. Interruptions of anti-TB drugs for at least one day decreased from 18% to 4% among all MDR-TB patients. Among patients included in the PSS program, no treatment default was observed and only one patient missed doses of treatment.

In conclusion, our patient–oriented support program was successful in reducing rates of treatment default among MDRTB patients.

Keywords: Kazakhstan, MDR-TB, patient support.
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