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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-38

The effect of a mhealth intervention on anti-tuberculosis medication adherence in Delhi, India: A quasi-experimental study


1 Junior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Director Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
4 State Programme Officer, Chest Clinic (TB), Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurav Basu
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_879_20

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Background: Suboptimal adherence to anti-tuberculosis medication in patients is associated with adverse treatment outcomes including treatment failure, relapse, and emergence of drug resistance. Objectives: We conducted the present study with the objectives of evaluating the effectiveness of a mHealth package on the medication adherence of patients with tuberculosis (TB) on antitubercular (directly observed treatment short-course [DOTS]) treatment. Methods: We conducted Quasi-experimental study at six DOTS centers of Delhi among 220 newly diagnosed TB patients. We included adult TB patients (18 years and above) who were on DOTS therapy ≥30 days, had access to a mobile phone and were able to read messages and receive calls. We excluded patients with impaired hearing, blindness and those on non-DOTS therapy or having multidrug-resistant/extensively drug-resistant TB. Participants in the intervention group received amHealth package for 90 days. The medication adherence of the study participants was measured using Morisky, Green, and Levine Adherence Scale. Results: A total of 130 men and 90 women were recruited for the study. Occupational interference and forgetfulness were the most common reasons for medication nonadherence in the patients. In the intervention group, the medication adherence to antitubercular medication (daily DOTS regimen) was 85.5% at baseline which increased to 96.4% at endline (postintervention) (P = 0.004). No significant change was observed in the control group (P = 0.328). The increase in adherence was observed across the following subgroups: age, gender, education, and Socioeconomic status. Conclusions: The mHealth intervention in TB patients was effective in improving the adherence to DOTS therapy.


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