Interventions to improve medication adherence in tuberculosis patients: A systematic review of randomized controlled studies

Ivan S Pradipta*, Daphne Houtsma, Job F M van Boven, Jan-Willem C Alffenaar, Eelko Hak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Non-adherence to anti-tuberculosis (anti-TB) medication is a major risk factor for poor treatment outcomes. We therefore assessed the effectiveness of medication adherence enhancing interventions in TB patients. We report a systematic review of randomized controlled trials that included either latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) or active TB patients. Outcomes of interest included adherence rate, completed treatment, defaulted treatment and treatment outcomes. We identified four LTBI and ten active TB studies. In active TB patients, directly observed treatment (DOT) by trained community workers, short messaging service combined with education, counselling, monthly TB vouchers, drug box reminders and combinations of those were found effective. In LTBI patients, shorter regimens and DOT effectively improved treatment completion. Interestingly, DOT showed variable effectiveness, highlighting that implementation, population and setting may play important roles. Since non-adherence factors are patient-specific, personalized interventions are required to enhance the impact of a programme to improve medication adherence in TB patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages10
JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11-May-2020



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