Patient-cost survey for tuberculosis in the context of patient-pathway modelling

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International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease


SETTING: Eight tuberculosis treatment sites in Cavite Province, the Philippines, including two sites specialising in management of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

OBJECTIVE : To evaluate costs incurred by TB patients and to determine the proportion of households that faced catastrophic costs, then to consider cost survey responses alongside results of detailed patient-pathway modelling.

DESIGN: Clustered cross-sectional survey using a field testing version of the WHO TB patient-costing tool and protocol; face-to-face interviews with 194 patients conducted in May-August 2016. Costs included directmedical, direct non-medical and indirect costs using the human capital approach. Patients were deemed to incur catastrophic expenditure if TB-related costs exceeded 20% of annual household income. Patient pathways were modelled following multiple health staff interviews.

RESULT S : Estimated mean cost incurred by patients with drug-susceptible TB was US$321 vs. $2356 for MDR-TB patients. Catastrophic costs were suffered by 28% of drug-susceptible and 80% of MDR-TB patients, with lost income being the largest contributor. Patientpathway modelling suggested most patients had underreported health visits.

CONCLUS ION: Survey results indicate that patient costs are large for all patients in Cavite, particularly for MDRTB patients. Patient-pathway modelling suggests these costs are an underestimate due to poor recollection of health visits, suggesting that the WHO instrument and protocol could be improved to better capture the diagnostic journey.

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