THE ROLE OF MOBILE SMS-REMINDERS IN IMPROVING DRUGS COMPLIANCE IN PATIENTS RECEIVING ANTI-TB TREATMENT FROM DOTS PROGRAM

Rukhsana Javed Farooqi, Sadia Ashraf, Mukhtiar Zaman

Abstract


Objective: To find out the role of mobile SMS-reminders in improving drugs
compliance in patients receiving anti-TB treatment from DOTS program.
Methodology: This randomized controlled trial was conducted from June 2014
to June 2015, in two centres: Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar and Emergency
Satellite Hospital Nahaqi. Patients enrolled for anti-TB drugs were distributed
in intervention and control groups; daily mobile SMS reminders were sent to
patients of intervention group on top of usual DOTS. Patients were followed
on monthly basis. Primary outcome measure was default, defined as not taking
medicine for two consecutive months.
Results: Total of 148 patients were enrolled, 74 in each group. Baseline characteristics
of both groups were comparable. Mean age was 29.4 ±17.6 years, with
63 (42.6%) males, 65 (43.9%) smear-positive TB, 24 (16.2%) smear-negative TB,
and 59 (39.9%) extra-pulmonary TB. Treatment-default was found in 7 (4.7%)
patients, out of these 3 patients (4.1%) were in “intervention group” and 4 patients
(5.4%) were in “control group”, both groups were comparable with no
significant statistical difference (p = 0.983).
Conclusion: Number of treatment-default cases was lower in “intervention
group” than “control group”, but this numerical difference was not significant
statistically.

Keywords


Tuberculosis, Tuberculosis treatment, Compliance, Default rate, Mobile phone, SMS, Text messages

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