JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

What works best for ensuring treatment adherence. Lessons from a social support program for people treated for tuberculosis in Ukraine


Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent. Ukraine is one of 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Global literature shows that social support (SS) is important in improving TB treatment adherence, reducing lost to follow up rates and improving treatment outcomes. There are several models of SS available, and the literature provides little information on what aspects of SS are most important to TB patients in improving their adherence. We used qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews (IDI) with 21 TB patients and 15 SS providers and coordinators in Ukraine in August-September 2016 to understand how the SS program promoted treatment adherence among patients. We examined the aspects of outpatient TB treatment that made adherence particularly difficult for patients in at-risk groups and aspects of the SS programs that worked best for addressing those barriers. Interviews were transcribed and analysis was performed to derive emergent themes.

Authors: Zulfiya Charyeva, Siân Curtis, Stephanie Mullen, Tatyana Senik, Olga Zaliznyak

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