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Tubercle. 1990 Dec;71(4):247-52.

Patient compliance with tuberculosis treatment in Ghana: factors influencing adherence to therapy in a rural service programme.

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Agogo Hospital and Medical School UST, Kumasi, Ghana.


In Agogo Hospital in the hills of Ashanti, Ghana, default and cure rates among 569 consecutive sputum-smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients registered between 1984 and 1987 in a rural ambulatory non-supervised service program were analysed. Female gender, shorter home-to-clinic distances and younger age were significantly associated with higher cure and lower default rates. Within the district where liaison health workers paid home visits to PTB patients, the home-to-clinic distance effect on default was overruled by the effect of follow-up. Data from two surveys held in 1985 and 1987, among 68 and 49 PTB patients respectively, revealed that many patients visited healing churches but few admitted to having consulted traditional healers; that financial expenses for transport outweighed hospital charges; that lower educational levels were not associated with poorer compliance to therapy and that health education had improved significantly over the 2-year-period. It is concluded that intervention with liaison health workers and simple health education results in improved outcome in rural service tuberculosis programme.

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