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PLoS One. 2010 Apr 6;5(4):e10043. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010043.

Risk factors associated with default among new smear positive TB patients treated under DOTS in India.

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National Tuberculosis Institute, Bangalore, India.



Poor treatment adherence leading to risk of drug resistance, treatment failure, relapse, death and persistent infectiousness remains an impediment to the tuberculosis control programmes. The objective of the study was to identify predictors of default among new smear positive TB patients registered for treatment to suggest possible interventions to set right the problems to sustain and enhance the programme performance.


Twenty districts selected from six states were assigned to six strata formed, considering the geographic, socio-cultural and demographic setup of the area. New smear positive patients registered for treatment in two consecutive quarters during III quarter 2004 to III quarter 2005 formed the retrospective study cohort. Case control analysis was done including defaulted patients as "cases" and equal number of age and sex matched patients completing treatment as "controls". The presence and degree of association between default and determinant factors was computed through univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Data collection was through patient interviews using pre-tested semi structured questionnaire and review of treatment related records. Information on a wide range of socio demographic and patient related factors was obtained. Among the 687 defaulted and equal numbers of patients in completed group, 389 and 540 patients respectively were satisfactorily interviewed. In the logistic regression analysis, factors independently associated with default were alcoholism [AOR-1.72 (1.23-2.44)], illiteracy [AOR-1.40 (1.03-1.92)], having other commitments during treatment [AOR-3.22 (1.1-9.09)], inadequate knowledge of TB [AOR-1.88(1.35-2.63)], poor patient provider interaction [AOR-1.72(1.23-2.44)], lack of support from health staff [AOR-1.93(1.41-2.64)], having instances of missed doses [AOR-2.56(1.82-3.57)], side effects to anti TB drugs [AOR-2.55 (1.87-3.47)] and dissatisfaction with services provided [AOR-1.73 (1.14-2.6)].


Majority of risk factors for default were treatment and provider oriented and rectifiable with appropriate interventions, which would help in sustaining the good programme performance.

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