Loss-To-Follow-Up on Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment in Gujarat, India: The WHEN and WHO of It

Citation: Shringarpure KS, Isaakidis P, Sagili KD, Baxi RK (2015) Loss-To-Follow-Up on Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment in Gujarat, India: The WHEN and WHO of It. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132543. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132543
Published: July 13, 2015

Abstract
Background: Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a rising global threat to public health and concerted efforts for its treatment are diluted if the outcomes are not successful, loss to follow up (LFU) being one of them. It is therefore necessary to know the proportion and the associated reasons for LFU and devise effective patient-centered strategies to improve retention in care.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at the MDR-TB treatment site (DR-TB Site)in Central Gujarat among all patients registered from February 2010 to June 2013.LFU patients were defined as those whose treatment was interrupted for two or more consecutive months for any reason. Descriptive statistics, survival analysis and multivariate modeling were used to determine the proportion of patients LFU and to assess associations between LFU and selected demographic and clinical factors.
Results: A total of 796 patients were enrolled during the study period; 71.9% were male and the median age was 35 years [Interquartile range (IQR) 27-45].The overall proportion of LFU patients was 153/796 (19.2%).The majority of LFU patients (133/153 i.e.87%) were lost within the first 6 months of treatment. Ambulatory treatment initiation (adjusted Hazards ratio aHR=2.63, CI:1.01-6.86), different providers in IP and CP ( aHR=1.27, CI:1.18-1.38)and culture conversion after more than 4 months of treatment(aHR=1.34, CI: 1.21-1.49)were found to be significantly associated with LFU in multivariate models.
Conclusions: A high proportion of LFU among patients on MDR-TB treatment was found in a programmatic setting in India. Clinical but equally important programmatic factors were associated with LFU, accounting for one-fifth of all the outcomes of MDR-TB treatment. Proper training for DOT providers and aggressive counseling and health system strengthening with patient friendly follow up services may help reduce LFU.

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