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Evaluating the Impact of Social Support Services on Tuberculosis Treatment Default in Ukraine


Skiles, Martha Priedeman; Curtis, Siân L.; Angeles, Gustavo; Mullen, Stephanie A.; & Senik, Tatyana (2018). Evaluating the Impact of Social Support Services on Tuberculosis Treatment Default in Ukraine. PLOS ONE, 13(8), e0199513. PMCID: PMC6084809


Ukraine is among the top 20 highest drug-resistant tuberculosis burden countries in the world. Driving the high drug-resistant tuberculosis rates is an unchecked treatment default rate. This evaluation measures the effect of social support provided to tuberculosis patients at risk of defaulting on treatment during outpatient treatment. Five tuberculosis patient cohorts, served in three oblasts from 2011 and 2012, were constructed from medical records to compare risk factors for default, receipt of social services, and treatment outcome. Regression analyses were used to identify risk factors predictive of treatment default and to estimate the impact of the social support program on treatment default, controlling for risk, disease status, and demographics. In 2012, tuberculosis patients receiving social support in Ukraine reduced their probability of defaulting on continuation treatment by 10 percentage points compared to high-risk patients who did not receive social support in 2012 or 2011. Treatment success rates for the high-risk patients receiving social support were comparable to the low-risk cohorts and significantly improved over the high-risk comparison cohorts. Further research is recommended to quantify the costs and benefits for scaling-up social support services, evaluate social support program fidelity, identify which populations respond best to select services, and what barriers might still exist to achieve better adherence. With that information, tailoring programs to most effectively reach and serve clients in a patient-centered approach may reap substantial rewards for Ukraine.


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Journal Article

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Skiles, Martha Priedeman
Curtis, Siân L.
Angeles, Gustavo
Mullen, Stephanie A.
Senik, Tatyana