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Tuberc Res Treat. 2013;2013:489865. doi: 10.1155/2013/489865. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Psychiatric morbidity and other factors affecting treatment adherence in pulmonary tuberculosis patients.

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  • 1Psychiatric Department, Sotiria General Hospital of Chest Disease, Athens, Greece.


As the overall prevalence of TB remains high among certain population groups, there is growing awareness of psychiatric comorbidity, especially depression and its role in the outcome of the disease. The paper attempts a holistic approach to the effects of psychiatric comorbidity to the natural history of tuberculosis. In order to investigate factors associated with medication nonadherence among patients suffering from tuberculosis, with emphasis on psychopathology as a major barrier to treatment adherence, we performed a systematic review of the literature on epidemiological data and past medical reviews from an historical perspective, followed by theoretical considerations upon the relationship between psychiatric disorders and tuberculosis. Studies reporting high prevalence rates of psychiatric comorbidity, especially depression, as well as specific psychological reactions and disease perceptions and reviews indicating psychiatric complications as adverse effects of anti-TB medication were included. In sum, data concerning factors affecting medication nonadherence among TB patients suggested that better management of comorbid conditions, especially depression, could improve the adherence rates, serving as a framework for the effective control of tuberculosis, but further studies are necessary to identify the optimal way to address such issues among these patients.

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