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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-23

Factors influencing default in tuberculosis patients in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria

Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C N Obionu
Department of Community Medicine University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital P.M.B. 01129, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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A retrospective analysis of the treatment outcome of 859 TB patients treated at the Chest Unit of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu in 1996 and 1997 showed that 276 (32.1%) defaulted. There was no association between defaulting and age of the patients (P>0.1). It was found that 79.7% of the defaulters attended the hospital from a distance of more than one hour as estimated by the time it normally takes by public transport from the patient's residential address to the hospital. Subsequently, 49.3% of them defaulted at the end of the intensive phase of the treatment. Although there was male:female ratio of 1.65:1, no significant association was found between defaulting and gender (P>0.1). The use of short course chemotherapy was also not found to be associated with defaulting (P>0.1). Much needs to be done in terms of continued health education and motivating patients to complete their treatment. Community-based directly observed therapy as well as defaulters tracing will also help to solve the problem of defaulting.

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