Author(s): Demissie M, Getahun H, Lindtjrn B
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Non-compliance is a major problem in the treatment of tuberculosis (TB). This paper assesses the effectiveness of "TB clubs" in improving compliance with TB treatment and their impact in improving societal attitudes associated with TB. The study utilised both quantitative (cohort study) and qualitative (focus group discussion and an in-depth interview) methods. The cohort study was conducted in two rural districts of Northern Ethiopia. A total of 128 sputum positive pulmonary patients were enrolled and followed, 64 in the TB club and 64 in the comparison groups, to determine treatment outcome of anti-TB therapy. The impact of the TB clubs in changing societal attitudes and behaviour associated with TB was assessed using qualitative methods. The treatment completion rate was significantly better (X2=5.41, P<0.02) in the TB club group, 44 out of 64 patients (68.7\%) completed treatment in TB club while only 30 of the 64 (46.8\%) completed treatment in the comparison group. The defaulter rate was also significantly lower (X2=11.57, P<0.001) in the TB club group 8/64 (12.5\%) compared to 26/64 (40.6\%) in the comparison group. The qualitative part of the study also demonstrated remarkable changes in patients' understanding of TB, patients' initial reaction to a TB diagnosis, misconceptions as to the cause and treatment of TB, the social isolation and compliance and belief in the modern health care in the TB club area. The complementary results obtained from the quantitative and qualitative components of the study indicate that the TB club approach has a significant impact in improving patients' compliance to anti-TB treatment and in building positive attitudes and practice in the community regarding TB. This study, thus, provides convincing evidences that the TB club approach is useful in delivering TB treatment successfully in rural populations. Further large-scale studies are needed to find out whether this approach is applicable on a national scale and to other developing countries.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy