Tuberculosis: limitations and strengths of Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course

Elisangela Martins de Queiroz Mónica Cecilia De-La-Torre-Ugarte-Guanilo Kuitéria Ribeiro Ferreira Maria Rita Bertolozzi About the authors

This study analyzed the limitations and strengths of the Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) for tuberculosis from the perspective of patients and healthcare providers in a Technical Health Supervision unit in the city of São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Four patients and 17 healthcare providers from nine Primary Care Units were interviewed from April to June 2006, after signing free and informed consent forms. The reports were decoded according to the speech analysis technique. The Theory of the Social Determination of the Health-Disease Process was adopted as the theoretical framework. The strengths were: establishment of bonds between healthcare providers and patients and the introduction of incentives, which promotes treatment adherence. Limitations included: restricted involvement of DOTS' healthcare providers and reconciling patients' working hours with supervision. Treatment adherence goes beyond the biological sphere and healthcare providers should acknowledge patients' needs that go beyond the supervision of medication taken.

Tuberculosis; Directly Observed Therapy; Patient Compliance; Nursing


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