[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Mobile text messaging and medication monitors (medication monitor boxes) have the potential to improve adherence to tuberculosis (TB) treatment and reduce the need for directly observed treatment (DOT), but to our knowledge they have not been properly evaluated in TB patients. We assessed the effectiveness of text messaging and medication monitors to improve medication adherence in TB patients.
Methods and findings:
In a pragmatic cluster-randomised trial, 36 districts/counties (each with at least 300 active pulmonary TB patients registered in 2009) within the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Chongqing, China, were randomised using stratification and restriction to one of four case-management approaches in which patients received reminders via text messages, a medication monitor, combined, or neither (control). Patients in the intervention arms received reminders to take their drugs and reminders for monthly follow-up visits, and the managing doctor was recommended to switch patients with adherence problems to more intensive management or DOT. In all arms, patients took medications out of a medication monitor box, which recorded when the box was opened, but the box gave reminders only in the medication monitor and combined arms. Patients were followed up for 6 mo. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patient-months on TB treatment where at least 20% of doses were missed as measured by pill count and failure to open the medication monitor box. Secondary endpoints included additional adherence and standard treatment outcome measures. Interventions were not masked to study staff and patients. From 1 June 2011 to 7 March 2012, 4,292 new pulmonary TB patients were enrolled across the 36 clusters. A total of 119 patients (by arm: 33 control, 33 text messaging, 23 medication monitor, 30 combined) withdrew from the study in the first month because they were reassessed as not having TB by their managing doctor (61 patients) or were switched to a different treatment model because of hospitalisation or travel (58 patients), leaving 4,173 TB patients (by arm: 1,104 control, 1,008 text messaging, 997 medication monitor, 1,064 combined). The cluster geometric mean of the percentage of patient-months on TB treatment where at least 20% of doses were missed was 29.9% in the control arm; in comparison, this percentage was 27.3% in the text messaging arm (adjusted mean ratio [aMR] 0.94, 95% CI 0.71, 1.24), 17.0% in the medication monitor arm (aMR 0.58, 95% CI 0.42, 0.79), and 13.9% in the combined arm (aMR 0.49, 95% CI 0.27, 0.88). Patient loss to follow-up was lower in the text messaging arm than the control arm (aMR 0.42, 95% CI 0.18-0.98). Equipment malfunction or operation error was reported in all study arms. Analyses separating patients with and without medication monitor problems did not change the results. Initiation of intensive management was underutilised.
This study is the first to our knowledge to utilise a randomised trial design to demonstrate the effectiveness of a medication monitor to improve medication adherence in TB patients. Reminders from medication monitors improved medication adherence in TB patients, but text messaging reminders did not. In a setting such as China where universal use of DOT is not feasible, innovative approaches to support patients in adhering to TB treatment, such as this, are needed.
Current Controlled Trials, ISRCTN46846388.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: China scaled up a tuberculosis control programme (based on the directly observed treatment, short-course [DOTS] strategy) to cover half the population during the 1990s, and to the entire population after 2000. We assessed the effect of the programme.
In this longitudinal analysis, we compared data from three national tuberculosis prevalence surveys done in 1990, 2000, and 2010. The 2010 survey screened 252 940 eligible individuals aged 15 years and older at 176 investigation points, chosen by stratified random sampling from all 31 mainland provinces. All individuals had chest radiographs taken. Those with abnormal radiographs, persistent cough, or both, were classified as having suspected tuberculosis. Tuberculosis was diagnosed by chest radiograph, sputum-smear microscopy, and culture. Trained staff interviewed each patient with tuberculosis. The 1990 and 2000 surveys were reanalysed and compared with the 2010 survey.
From 1990 to 2010, the prevalence of smear-positive tuberculosis decreased from 170 cases (95% CI 166-174) to 59 cases (49-72) per 100 000 population. During the 1990s, smear-positive prevalence fell only in the provinces with the DOTS programme; after 2000, prevalence decreased in all provinces. The percentage reduction in smear-positive prevalence was greater for the decade after 2000 than the decade before (57% vs 19%; p<0·0001). 70% of the total reduction in smear-positive prevalence (78 of 111 cases per 100 000 population) occurred after 2000. Of these cases, 68 (87%) were in known cases-ie, cases diagnosed with tuberculosis before the survey. Of the known cases, the proportion treated by the public health system (using the DOTS strategy) increased from 59 (15%) of 370 cases in 2000 to 79 (66%) of 123 cases in 2010, contributing to reduced proportions of treatment default (from 163 [43%] of 370 cases to 35 [22%] of 123 cases) and retreatment cases (from 312 [84%] of 374 cases to 48 [31%] of 137 cases; both p<0·0001).
In 20 years, China more than halved its tuberculosis prevalence. Marked improvement in tuberculosis treatment, driven by a major shift in treatment from hospitals to the public health centres (that implemented the DOTS strategy) was largely responsible for this epidemiological effect.
Chinese Ministry of Health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Setting: Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has emerged as a serious global public health problem. In China, the risk factors for MDR-TB have not been systematically evaluated. Objective: To identify risk factors associated with MDR-TB among previously treated patients in China. Design: A case-control study was carried out. Cases were selected from previously treated MDR-TB patients who were resistant to both isoniazid and rifampin, and controls were selected from previously treated TB patients who were sensitive to isoniazid and rifampin (non-MDR-TB). Information was collected from the registration database and a structured questionnaire. Results: A total of 61 cases and 50 controls were recruited. A multivariate analysis showed that the family annual per-capita income ≤7,000 Yuan (odds ratio [OR]=3.238; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.270-8.252), no history of fixed dose combinations (FDCs) in anti-TB treatment (OR=4.027; 95% CI: 1.457-11.129), and adverse reactions in the course of TB treatment (OR=3.568; 95% CI: 1.402-9.085) were independent predictors of MDR-TB. Moreover, among the TB patients who had adverse reactions, quitting the treatment was shown as a risk factor for MDR-TB (p=0.009). Conclusion: In the control of MDR-TB among previously treated patients, lower socioeconomic groups, the expanding use of FDCs, and improving adherence to treatment by implementing Directly Observed Therapy Short Course-Plus (DOTS-Plus), strictly should become a priority that requires strong commitment and collaboration among health organizations.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Microbial drug resistance (Larchmont, N.Y.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous treatment has been documented as a major risk factor for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). However, risk factors for MDR-TB among previously treated patients in China are unclear. This study aimed to ascertain the risk factors for MDR-TB in this particular population in China.
A case-control study was conducted from July through August 2011 in five cities of Zhejiang Province. Cases were previously treated TB patients who had disease resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin, whereas controls were previously treated TB patients who had disease sensitive to isoniazid and rifampin.
Ninety-eight cases and 83 controls were identified. Multivariate analysis showed that a duration of first treatment of more than 8 months (odds ratio (OR) 2.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-4.52), more than three prior episodes of anti-TB treatment (more than 2 months of continuous treatment as one episode) (OR 5.57, 95% CI 2.38-13.00), adverse effects of anti-TB medication (OR 3.63, 95% CI 1.79-7.36), and more than three TB foci in the lung (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.08-4.37) were associated with MDR-TB in previously treated TB patients. Low family income (p=0.056) was marginally significant in the univariate analysis.
Particular clinical diagnostic results, such as more than three TB foci in the lung, non-standard or irregular therapy, and adverse effects of anti-TB medication, were found to be associated with MDR-TB in previously treated TB patients. High quality directly observed treatment should be strengthened to ensure that the previously treated patients can receive standard and regular regimens.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the length of delay in initial health-seeking in new pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cases among migrant population in the eastern part of China, and factors associated with it.
A cross-sectional study was conducted using a structured questionnaire in six counties in Shanghai, Guangdong and Jiangsu from May to October, 2008, to estimate the extent and factors responsible for delayed initial health-seeking of the new PTB cases. The interval between self-reported onset of TB symptoms and date of first attendance at any medical institution was determined. More than the median duration was defined as delayed health-seeking.
A total of 323 new migrant PTB patients participated in the study. Only 6.5% had medical insurance. The median and mean durations to initial health-seeking were respectively 10 and 31 days. There was no significant association between socio-demographic factors and delayed initial health-seeking. Average monthly working days >24 (AOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.03-2.51), and hemoptysis or bloody sputum (AOR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.28-0.85) were significantly associated with delayed initial health-seeking.
Interventions to improve health seeking behavior among the migrant population in China must focus on strengthening their labor, medical security and health education.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the suitability of the TB-SA antibody test to diagnose tuberculosis in sputum smear negative (SS-) pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients and its applicability for monitoring treatment outcomes in these patients. This study was conducted in three counties/districts in Chongqing Municipality, Liaoning Province, China between June 2005 and June 2007. A total of 432 SS suspected pulmonary TB patients were recruited and their blood was collected prior to treatment, at the end of 1 month of treatment, 2 months of treatment and 6 months of treatment (E6MT). The serum samples were analyzed with a TB-SA antibody test kit. Of the 432 SS suspected pulmonary TB patients, serum samples were obtained at all time points in 316 patients and analyzed. The 316 patients were divided into three groups according to sputum smear and sputum culture results and the chest X-ray results before treatment and at E6MT. Ten point four percent were SS-/culture positive (C+), 73.1% were SS-/culture negative (C-) with X-rays abnormalities, and 16.5% were SS-/C- without X-rays abnormalities. The positive rates for TB-SA antibody in the three groups were 57.6, 44.6 and 44.2%, respectively, before treatment, and 18.2, 19.1 and 26.9%, respectively, at E6MT. There was a significant decrease in TB-SA antibody positivity with treatment for all 3 groups. The TB-SA antibody test may be a useful adjunct to diagnose tuberculosis in SS- pulmonary TB patients, and may be useful for monitoring treatment outcomes of SS- pulmonary TB patients.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a major public health problem caused by various factors. It is essential to systematically investigate the epidemiological and, in particular, the ecological factors of DR-TB for its prevention and control. Studies of the ecological factors can provide information on etiology, and assist in the effective prevention and control of disease. So it is of great significance for public health to explore the ecological factors of DR-TB, which can provide guidance for formulating regional prevention and control strategies.
Anti-TB drug resistance data were obtained from the World Health Organization/International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (WHO/UNION) Global Project on Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Surveillance, and data on ecological factors were collected to explore the ecological factors for DR-TB. Partial least square path modeling (PLS-PM), in combination with ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, as well as geographically weighted regression (GWR), were used to build a global and local spatial regression model between the latent synthetic DR-TB factor ("DR-TB") and latent synthetic risk factors.
OLS regression and PLS-PM indicated a significant globally linear spatial association between "DR-TB" and its latent synthetic risk factors. However, the GWR model showed marked spatial variability across the study regions. The "TB Epidemic", "Health Service" and "DOTS (directly-observed treatment strategy) Effect" factors were all positively related to "DR-TB" in most regions of the world, while "Health Expenditure" and "Temperature" factors were negatively related in most areas of the world, and the "Humidity" factor had a negative influence on "DR-TB" in all regions of the world.
In summary, the influences of the latent synthetic risk factors on DR-TB presented spatial variability. We should formulate regional DR-TB monitoring planning and prevention and control strategies, based on the spatial characteristics of the latent synthetic risk factors and spatial variability of the local relationship between DR-TB and latent synthetic risk factors.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · International Journal of Health Geographics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2004, the Ministry of Health issued the policy of decentralising microscopy services (MCs) to one third of all township hospitals in China. The study was conducted in Gansu Province, a poor western one in China. Ganzhou was one county in Gansu Province. Ganzhou County was identified as a unique case of further decentralisation of tuberculosis (TB) treatment services in township hospitals. The study evaluated the impact of the MC policy on providers and patients in Gansu Province. The second objective was to assess the unique case of Ganzhou County compared with other counties in the province.
Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. All 523 MCs in the province completed an institutional survey regarding their performance. Four counties were selected for in-depth investigation, where 169 TB suspects were randomly selected from the MC and county TB dispensary registers for questionnaire surveys. Informant interviews were conducted with 38 health staff at the township and county levels in the four counties.
Gansu established MCs in 39% of its township hospitals. From January 2006 to June 2007, 8% of MCs identified more than 10 TB sputum smear positive patients while 54% did not find any. MCs identified 1546 TB sputum smear positive patients, accounting for 9% of the total in the province. The throughputs of MCs in Ganzhou County were eight times of those in other counties. Interviews identified several barriers to implement the MC policy, such as inadequate health financing, low laboratory capacity, lack of human resources, poor treatment and management capacities, and lack of supervisions from county TB dispensaries.
Microscopy centre throughputs were generally low in Gansu Province, and the contribution of MCs to TB case detection was insignificant taking account the number of MCs established. As a unique case of full decentralisation of TB service, Ganzhou County presented better results. However, standards and quality of TB care needed to be improved. The MC policy needs to be reviewed in light of evidence from this study.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · BMC Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB) services in China are provided through a large network of TB dispensaries. Even though hospitals are not as well placed to follow recommended standards of TB care, a significant proportion of people with TB symptoms seek care from hospitals. In spite of having a policy and mandate in place, the Ministry of Health had little success in encouraging hospitals to refer suspected TB cases to dispensaries. Following the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, the government set up a nationwide Internet-based communicable diseases reporting system. This achieved productive collaboration between hospitals and TB dispensaries. From 2004 to 2007, the percentage of TB suspects and patients needing referral from hospitals who arrived in TB dispensaries increased substantially from 58.7% to 77.8% and the contribution of hospitals to diagnosing sputum smear-positive TB cases doubled from 16.3% to 32.9%. Using the Internet-based reporting system, hospitals in China contributed to finding about one third of all sputum smear-positive TB cases and helped meet the global TB control target of detecting 70% of such cases. Based on the data available from routine surveillance facilitated by this Internet-based system, this paper details the process and outcomes of strengthening collaboration between hospitals and TB dispensaries using the Internet as a tool and its potential application to other country settings.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Bulletin of the World Health Organisation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: China has more and more floating population because of reform and opening-up. As one of the high burden countries in tuberculosis (TB) control in the world, China has to face more challenges about the TB case detection and treatment among floating population in China. Aim to evaluate the effect of case detection and treatment of the Floating Population TB Control Pilot Project from Global Fund Round Five (GFR5) TB Control Program in China. During October 2006 to September 2008, the pilot project was implemented gradually in 60 counties in Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong and Guangdong. All quarterly reports of the pilot project were collected, and these materials were summarized and analyzed. In seven coastal provinces, 19,584 active pulmonary TB (PTB) cases were registered among floating population in 2 years. Among the active PTB cases, 87.2% were 15-45 years old, and 62.8% were male. In second year, 15,629 active PTB cases were registered, and the overall registration rate was 68 per 100,000 people. DOT treatments were provided for 18,125 active PTB cases in 2 years, and overall DOT treatment rate was 92.6%. There were 3,955 active PTB cases registered in first year, and the overall cure rate was 86.0%. Through the implementation of the pilot project, the TB case detection and treatment among floating population have been enhanced in pilot areas of China. The useful experience and results from the pilot project have been being gradually generalized nationally.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health