COST OF THERAPY INCURRED FOR TUBERCULOSIS PATIENTS RECEIVING DIRECTLY OBSERVED THERAPY (DOT)
Objective: To estimate the cost of therapy of tuberculosis patients registered under DOTS program in the treatment of tuberculosis.
Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted over a period of nine months in the Pulmonary Department of Bharati hospital and Research centre, Pune. 97 patients registered under RNTCP between August 2014 and April 2015, were interviewed at two time points: one at the time of first hospital visit and second on the completion of treatment. During the interview, information relating to various costs such as direct (out of pocket) and indirect cost was collected.
Results: The mean total cost for Pulmonary tuberculosis treatment was found to be/5474.7 ($85.4), Extra pulmonary was/10574.8 ($164.9) and Pulmonary and Extra pulmonary was/14638.5 ($228.3) respectively. Out of total cost the cost incurred by the patients for the hospital stay and diagnosis (i.e. tuberculosis detection) has the maximum expenditure cost which was 90.4 % for pulmonary tuberculosis, 77.2% extra pulmonary and 72.5% pulmonary and extra pulmonary. About 39.2 % of patients and their care takers lost work days. 52.0% pulmonary patients, 68.4% extra-pulmonary and 66.7 % pulmonary and extra-pulmonary patients had decreased earning ability due to illness.
Conclusion: The maximum cost is incurred for diagnosis and hospital stay in tuberculosis patients. Though DOTS strategy can help to reduce cost, achieve effective cure and save life of TB patients, still patients need to spend for other investigations and other drugs.
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