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Original Research

Delay in initiation of treatment after diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in primary health care setting: eight year cohort analysis from district Faridabad, Haryana, North India

Submitted: 29 July 2016
Revised: 26 December 2016
Accepted: 20 February 2017
Published: 20 July 2017

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Author(s) : Kant S, Singh AK, Parmeshwaran GG, Haldar P, Malhotra S, Kaur R.

Citation: Kant S, Singh AK, Parmeshwaran GG, Haldar P, Malhotra S, Kaur R.  Delay in initiation of treatment after diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in primary health care setting: eight year cohort analysis from district Faridabad, Haryana, North India. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2017; 17: 4158. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=4158 (Accessed 20 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Delay in initiation of tuberculosis (TB) treatment may have a tremendous impact on disease transmission, development of drug resistance, poor outcome and overall survival of TB patients. The delay can occur at various levels. Delay in initiation of treatment after diagnosis is mostly due to health system failure and has immense programmatic implications. It has not been studied extensively in the Indian setting.
Methods:  The authors did a cohort analysis of all TB patients initiated on treatment from two primary health centres (PHCs) at Ballabgarh Health and Demographic Surveillance System between January 2007 and December 2014. Diagnosis and treatment of TB in the study area was done as per the protocol envisaged in the national program. Information related to demography, details of diagnosis and treatment of TB and outcome of treatment were extracted from the TB register. Delay in initiation of treatment after diagnosis was considered if the gap between diagnosis and treatment was greater than 7 days. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were done to find the association of various factors with delay in initiation of treatment after diagnosis. 
Results:  Out of 885 patients, 662 patients started treatment for pulmonary TB. Mean time interval between diagnosis and initiation of treatment was 8.95 days. Only 57.7% of pulmonary TB patients were started on treatment within 7 days of diagnosis, and an additional 24.5% were started on treatment 8–14 days after diagnosis. Patients on retreatment regimens and those residing in villages without a PHC were more likely to have delayed initiation of treatment (odds ratio (OR)=1.82 (1.3–2.7, p=0.001) and OR=1.62 (1.1–2.5, p=0.01) respectively). Delay in initiation of treatment was also associated with unfavourable treatment outcome such as default, failure or death.
Conclusions: There is a need to have healthcare changes related to TB care to enable initiation of treatment as early as possible. Pretreatment counselling especially for retreatment patients is of utmost importance.

Key words: Ballabgarh Health and Demographic Surveillance System, diagnosis delay, India, treatment delay, tuberculosis.

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