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Gaceta Sanitaria

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PATRICK CHAULK, C.; KAZANDJIAN, Vahé A  and  VALLEJO GUTIERREZ, Paula. Measurement in Public Health: what pulmonary tuberculosis management has taught us. Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.4, pp.362-370. ISSN 0213-9111.

Pulmonary tuberculosis rates are increasing worldwide, including in Spain. One of the main challenges when treating this disease is achieving treatment completion, since studies have shown that approximately 30-35% of all patients do not take their medications as intended. The present article explores a continuum of evaluation strategies and performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of community-based programs designed to enhance treatment completion in patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis. Four traditional evaluation strategies (case studies, retrospective and case-control studies, forecasting/modeling, and cost effectiveness analysis) and 2 emerging and promising approaches (quality of life assessment and indicators of the continuum of care) are presented. Several of the evaluation strategies reviewed indicate that treatment programs using directly observed therapy (DOT) that are comprehensive, community-based and patient-centered achieve the highest treatment completion rates. Combinations of these strategies are recommended to create a body of evidence capturing the impact and nuances of community-based public health interventions in improving health outcomes, in this case for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis.

Keywords : Pulmonary tuberculosis; Quality of care; DOT success rate; Continuum of care.

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