Randomised controlled trial: incentives for tuberculosis treatment
Researchers in East Timor wanted to see if meals could encourage adherence to treatment
- By: Elizabeth Loder
Tuberculosis is a global problem. To eradicate the disease, tuberculosis drugs must be taken daily for a long period of time. Poor adherence to treatment decreases the chance of cure and may contribute to the growing problem of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. Directly observed therapy (DOT) is one commonly used method to improve adherence to tuberculosis treatment in situations where non-compliance is likely to occur. With DOT, patients come to the clinic each day and take their drugs under the direct observation of medical staff. In many places around the world public health authorities may be able to detain patients for treatment if they do not attend for directly observed therapy. However, such consequences have little meaning in many poor areas, and other incentives to complete treatment are needed.
The authors of this study wondered if offering food supplements to people with tuberculosis would improve adherence to treatment and other treatment