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Korean J Fam Med. 2012 Nov;33(6):372-80. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2012.33.6.372. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

The clinical characteristics and predictors of treatment success of pulmonary tuberculosis in homeless persons at a public hospital in busan.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Busan Medical Center, Busan, Korea.



Homelessness is associated with an increased risk of exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Several factors, including alcoholism, malnutrition, lack of stable housing, combine to make tuberculosis more prevalent in the homeless. The aims of this study were to determine the factors associated with increasing success rate of tuberculosis treatment in the homeless.


A cross-sectional analysis of the clinical features in 142 pulmonary tuberculosis-positive homeless patients admitted to the Busan Medical Center from January 2001 to December 2010 was carried out. These results were compared with a successful treatment group and incomplete treatment group. We also evaluated the risk factors of treatment non-completion. Statistical analysis for the comparisons was performed using a χ(2) test, independent samples t-test, and multiple logistic regression.


Comparison of clinical characteristics showed significant differences between the two groups in the type of residence (P < 0.001), diseases with risk factors (P = 0.003), and history of tuberculosis treatment (P = 0.009). Multiple regression analysis revealed the residence (odds ratio [OR], 4.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.05 to 11.10; P < 0.001) and comorbidity with risk factor (OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.13 to 6.53; P = 0.025) to be independently associated with treatment success.


To improve the success rate of tuberculosis treatment in the homeless person, anti tuberculosis medication should be taken until the end of treatment and a management system for the homeless person is required. Further social and medical concerns for stable housing and management of comorbidity may lead to an improvement in the successful tuberculosis treatment of homeless person.


Homeless Persons; Treatment; Tuberculosis, Pulmonary

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