Directly observed therapy for treating tuberculosis

Added August 13, 2019

Citation: Karumbi J., Garner P. Directly observed therapy for treating tuberculosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD003343. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003343.pub4.

Directly observed therapy (DOT) on its own does not offer the solution to poor adherence in people taking TB medication.

Incomplete tuberculosis treatment may result in patients not being cured, and development to drug resistance. Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) is a specific strategy, endorsed by the World Health Organization, to improve adherence by requiring health workers, community volunteers or family members to observe and record patients taking each dose. This review searched for relevant trials up to 13 January 2015, and includes 11 randomized controlled trials that enrolled 5662 people with TB, and were conducted between 1995 and 2008. Overall, cure and treatment completion in both self‐treatment and DOT groups was low, and DOT did not substantially improve this. Small effects were seen in a subgroup of studies where the self‐treatment group were monitored less frequently than the DOT group. The authors conclude that DOT on its own may not offer the solution to poor adherence in people taking TB medication.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the health of refugees and asylum seekers but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the health of refugees and asylum seekers on the basis of this summary alone.