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      Treatment success rate among adult pulmonary tuberculosis patients in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis


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          To summarise treatment success rate (TSR) among adult bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (BC-PTB) patients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).


          We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Google Scholar and Web of Science electronic databases for eligible studies published in the decade between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2018. Two independent reviewers extracted data and disagreements were resolved by consensus with a third reviewer. We used random-effects model to pool TSR in Stata V.15, and presented results in a forest plot with 95% CIs and predictive intervals. We assessed heterogeneity with Cochrane’s (Q) test and quantified with I-squared values. We checked publication bias with funnel plots and Egger’s test. We performed subgroup, meta-regression, sensitivity and cumulative meta-analyses.




          Adults 15 years and older, new and retreatment BC-PTB patients.


          TSR measured as the proportion of smear-positive TB cases registered under directly observed therapy in a given year that successfully completed treatment, either with bacteriologic evidence of success (cured) or without (treatment completed).


          31 studies (2 cross-sectional, 1 case–control, 17 retrospective cohort, 6 prospective cohort and 5 randomised controlled trials) involving 18 194 participants were meta-analysed. 28 of the studies had good quality data. Egger’s test indicated no publication bias, rather small study effect. The pooled TSR was 76.2% (95% CI 72.5% to 79.8%; 95% prediction interval, 50.0% to 90.0%, I 2 statistics=96.9%). No single study influenced the meta-analytical results or conclusions. Between 2008 and 2018, a gradual but steady decline in TSR occurred in SSA but without statistically significant time trend variation (p=0.444). The optimum TSR of 90% was not achieved.


          Over the past decade, TSR was heterogeneous and suboptimal in SSA, suggesting context and country-specific strategies are needed to end the TB epidemic.

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          Most cited references49

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          Observational and interventional study design types; an overview

          The appropriate choice in study design is essential for the successful execution of biomedical and public health research. There are many study designs to choose from within two broad categories of observational and interventional studies. Each design has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the need to understand these limitations is necessary to arrive at correct study conclusions. Observational study designs, also called epidemiologic study designs, are often retrospective and are used to assess potential causation in exposure-outcome relationships and therefore influence preventive methods. Observational study designs include ecological designs, cross sectional, case-control, case-crossover, retrospective and prospective cohorts. An important subset of observational studies is diagnostic study designs, which evaluate the accuracy of diagnostic procedures and tests as compared to other diagnostic measures. These include diagnostic accuracy designs, diagnostic cohort designs, and diagnostic randomized controlled trials. Interventional studies are often prospective and are specifically tailored to evaluate direct impacts of treatment or preventive measures on disease. Each study design has specific outcome measures that rely on the type and quality of data utilized. Additionally, each study design has potential limitations that are more severe and need to be addressed in the design phase of the study. This manuscript is meant to provide an overview of study design types, strengths and weaknesses of common observational and interventional study designs.
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            Health Extension Workers Improve Tuberculosis Case Detection and Treatment Success in Southern Ethiopia: A Community Randomized Trial

            Background One of the main strategies to control tuberculosis (TB) is to find and treat people with active disease. Unfortunately, the case detection rates remain low in many countries. Thus, we need interventions to find and treat sufficient number of patients to control TB. We investigated whether involving health extension workers (HEWs: trained community health workers) in TB control improved smear-positive case detection and treatment success rates in southern Ethiopia. Methodology/Principal Finding We carried out a community-randomized trial in southern Ethiopia from September 2006 to April 2008. Fifty-one kebeles (with a total population of 296, 811) were randomly allocated to intervention and control groups. We trained HEWs in the intervention kebeles on how to identify suspects, collect sputum, and provide directly observed treatment. The HEWs in the intervention kebeles advised people with productive cough of 2 weeks or more duration to attend the health posts. Two hundred and thirty smear-positive patients were identified from the intervention and 88 patients from the control kebeles. The mean case detection rate was higher in the intervention than in the control kebeles (122.2% vs 69.4%, p<0.001). In addition, more females patients were identified in the intervention kebeles (149.0 vs 91.6, p<0.001). The mean treatment success rate was higher in the intervention than in the control kebeles (89.3% vs 83.1%, p = 0.012) and more for females patients (89.8% vs 81.3%, p = 0.05). Conclusions/Significance The involvement of HEWs in sputum collection and treatment improved smear-positive case detection and treatment success rate, possibly because of an improved service access. This could be applied in settings with low health service coverage and a shortage of health workers. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00803322
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              Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. Increase in studies of publication bias coincided with increasing use of meta-analysis.


                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                6 September 2019
                : 9
                : 9
                : e029400
                [1 ] departmentDepartment of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine , Mbarara University of Science and Technology , Mbarara, Uganda
                [2 ] departmentAfrican Centre for Systematic Reviews and Knowledge Translation , Makerere University College of Health Sciences , Kampala, Uganda
                [3 ] departmentInfectious Disease Institute , Makerere University College of Health Sciences , Kampala, Uganda
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Jonathan Izudi; jonahzd@ 123456gmail.com
                Author information
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                : 25 January 2019
                : 22 July 2019
                : 20 August 2019
                Infectious Diseases
                Original Research
                Custom metadata

                bacteriologically confirmed tuberculosis,drug susceptible tuberculosis,smear positive tuberculosis,sub-sahara africa,treatment success rate,tuberculosis cure rate


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