CitationCharyeva, Zulfiya; Curtis, Siân L.; Mullen, Stephanie A.; Senik, Tatyana; & Zaliznyak, Olga (2019). What Works Best for Ensuring Treatment Adherence. Lessons from a Social Support Program for People Treated for Tuberculosis in Ukraine. PLOS ONE, 14(8), e0221688. PMCID: PMC6709888
AbstractBACKGROUND: Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent. Ukraine is one of 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Global literature shows that social support (SS) is important in improving TB treatment adherence, reducing lost to follow up rates and improving treatment outcomes. There are several models of SS available, and the literature provides little information on what aspects of SS are most important to TB patients in improving their adherence.
METHODS: We used qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews (IDI) with 21 TB patients and 15 SS providers and coordinators in Ukraine in August-September 2016 to understand how the SS program promoted treatment adherence among patients. We examined the aspects of outpatient TB treatment that made adherence particularly difficult for patients in at-risk groups and aspects of the SS programs that worked best for addressing those barriers. Interviews were transcribed and analysis was performed to derive emergent themes.
RESULTS: Main barriers included side effects from medicine, the amount of time required daily for transportation and waiting in lines at the health facility, transportation expenses, risks of being identified when visiting a TB facility and lack of motivation to seek treatment. Features of the SS program most valued by patients were convenience of not having to visit facility and support provided by nurses. These two features directly addressed most of the barriers identified. The commitment and qualities of the nurses that provided the SS was an important element of the program.
CONCLUSIONS: This qualitative study suggests that the SS program in Ukraine was successful in reducing treatment default among patients at high risk of default because it directly addressed most of the major barriers they faced to treatment adherence.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitlePLOS ONE
Curtis, Siân L.
Mullen, Stephanie A.