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PLoS One. 2016 Mar 1;11(3):e0150511. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150511. eCollection 2016.

Association between Directly Observed Therapy and Treatment Outcomes in Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) represents a major obstacle towards successful TB control. Directly observed therapy (DOT) was recommended by WHO to improve adherence and treatment outcomes of MDR-TB patients, however, the effectiveness of DOT on treatment outcomes of MDR-TB patients was mixed in previous studies. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association between DOT and treatment outcomes and to examine the impact of different DOT providers and DOT locations on successful treatment outcomes in MDR-TB patients.


We searched studies published in English between January 1970 and December 2015 in major electronic databases. Two reviewers independently screened articles and extracted information of DOT, treatment success rate and other characteristics of studies. Random effects model was used to calculate the pooled treatment success rate and 95% confidence interval (CI). Sub-group analyses were conducted to access factors associated with successful treatment outcomes.


A total of 31 articles 7,466 participants were included. Studies reporting full DOT (67.4%, 95% CI: 61.4-72.8%) had significantly higher pooled treatment success rates than those reporting self-administration therapy (46.9%, 95% CI: 41.4-52.4%). No statistically difference was found among DOT provided by healthcare providers (65.8%, 95% CI: 55.7-74.7%), family members (72.0%, 95% CI: 31.5-93.5%) and private DOT providers (69.5%, 95% CI: 57.0-79.7%); and neither did we find significantly difference on pooled treatment success rates between patients having health facility based DOT (70.5%, 95% CI: 61.5-78.1%) and home-based DOT (68.4%, 95% CI: 51.5-81.5%).


Providing DOT for a full course of treatment associated with a higher treatment success rate in MDR-TB patients.

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