Treatment of tuberculosis

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7419.822 (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:822
  1. Dermot Maher, medical officer, TB strategy and operations (maherd@who.int),
  2. Mukund Uplekar, medical officer, TB strategy and operations,
  3. Leopold Blanc, Acting coordinator, TB strategy and operations,
  4. Mario Raviglione, director, Stop TB Department
  1. Stop TB Department, World Health Organization, Avenua Appia CH1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland

    Concordance is a key step

    The importance of people taking medicines extends beyond individuals to communities when medicines are crucial for treatment of communicable diseases and prevention of transmission. In this editorial we discuss the relevance of the concept of concordance (a term introduced to emphasise patients' beliefs about treatment)1 to the treatment of communicable disease, taking tuberculosis as an example. Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death due to an infectious agent, and the control of tuberculosis depends on effective treatment of the infectious patients, and therefore on people taking medicines.

    The likelihood of successful treatment of tuberculosis depends on the extent to which patients complete the prescribed treatment regimen (usually called compliance with, or adherence to, treatment). Interrupted treatment of tuberculosis results in ongoing transmission of disease. Without support throughout the full course of treatment, many patients with tuberculosis adhere to treatment until symptoms have resolved and then stop, since patients may equate disease and therefore the need to continue treatment with illness (symptoms).2 The consequent risks of failure of …

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