Factors influencing specialist care referral of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Gauteng/South Africa: A descriptive questionnaire-based study

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Abstract

Background: Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital is the only specialized Hospital for the management of multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB and extensively drug-resistant (XDR)-TB cases in Gauteng Province. In South Africa, there is a mismatch between numbers of individuals with a laboratory diagnosis of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and those being referred for the initiation of specialist treatment. We determined reasons for non-referral of MDR-TB and XDR-TB cases. Methods. We conducted a descriptive questionnaire-based study amongst provincial primary health care facilities (PHC) and hospitals providing routine care for (drug-susceptible) TB, regarding specialist care referral of patients whose TB culture and susceptibility testing confirmed MDR-TB or XDR-TB diagnoses in the first half of 2008. Results: In total 148 cases were analyzed; 144/148 (97%) had MDR-TB and 4/148 (3%) had XDR-TB. The main reason for non-referral to specialist care was loss to follow up, for patients diagnosed in-hospital (74/97; 76%) as well as in PHCs (11/21; 52%). Nineteen per cent (18/97) of patients diagnosed in hospital versus 33% (7/21) of patients diagnosed in PHCs deceased before referral. Conclusions: A significant problem in the fight to control DR-TB is follow-up after diagnosis with a delay in patient tracing. TB Focal Points in hospital need to be strengthened in order to improve on patient follow-up and care, and tracer teams should assist with community follow up. © 2013 Nkosi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Nkosi, D., Janssen, S., Padanilam, X., Louw, R., Menezes, C. N., & Grobusch, M. P. (2013). Factors influencing specialist care referral of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Gauteng/South Africa: A descriptive questionnaire-based study. BMC Health Services Research, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-13-268

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