Impacts of a comprehensive tuberculosis control model on the quality of clinical services and the financial burden of treatment for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in China: a mixed-methods evaluation.
The China National Health Commission-Gates TB Project Phase III implemented a comprehensive TB control model including multiple interventions to address the burden of drug-resistant TB (DRTB). This study aims to evaluate the quality of DRTB clinical services and assess the financial burden of DRTB patients during the intervention period.
A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in the three project provinces: Zhejiang, Jilin and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The quantitative data included de-identified DRTB registry data during 2015-2018 in project provinces from China CDC, medical records of DRTB patients registered in 2018 (n = 106) from designated hospitals, and a structured DRTB patient survey in six sample prefectures in 2019. The quality of clinical services was evaluated using seven indicators across patient screening, diagnosis and treatment. Logistic regression was conducted to explore factors associated with the extremely high financial burden. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with policymakers and focus group discussions with physicians and DRTB patients were conducted to understand the interventions implemented and their impacts.
The percentage of bacterially confirmed patients taking a drug susceptibility test (DST) increased significantly between 2015 and 2018: from 57.4 to 93.6% in Zhejiang, 12.5 to 86.5% in Jilin, and 29.7 to 91.4% in Ningxia. The treatment enrollment rate among diagnosed DRTB patients also increased significantly and varied from 73 to 82% in the three provinces in 2018. Over 90% of patients in Zhejiang and Jilin and 75% in Ningxia remained in treatment by the end of the first six months' treatment. Among all survey respondents 77.5% incurred extremely high financial burden of treatment. Qualitative results showed that interventions on promoting rapid DST technologies and patient referral were successfully implemented, but the new financing policies for reducing patients' financial burden were not implemented as planned.
The quality of DRTB related clinical services has been significantly improved following the comprehensive interventions, while the financial burden of DRTB patients remains high due to the delay in implementing financing policies. Stronger political commitment and leadership are required for multi-channel financing to provide additional financial support to DRTB patients.
Jiang, W-X; Li, Z-P; Zhao, Q; Gao, M-Q; Long, Q; Wang, W-B; Huang, F; Wang, N; Tang, S-L
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)