Variations of care quality for infectious pulmonary tuberculosis in Taiwan: a population based cohort studyReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 7:107

First Online: 11 June 2007Received: 14 October 2006Accepted: 11 June 2007DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-7-107

Cite this article as: Chung, WS., Chang, RE. & Guo, HR. BMC Public Health 2007 7: 107. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-7-107


BackgroundEffective and efficient care is required to prevent the spread of infectious pulmonary tuberculosis PTB. We attempted to compare care quality among different healthcare institutions in Southern Taiwan.

MethodsThis study conducted population-based retrospective cohort design. One tuberculosis sanatorium, 2 medical centers, 11 regional hospitals, and 15 district hospitals and primary practitioners in the study area had reported tuberculosis cases, registered from January 1 to June 30 2003. Those cases with sputum positive PTB were followed 15 months after anti-tuberculosis treatment initiation. Meanwhile, Level of conformance with diagnostic guidelines, efficiency of diagnostic and treatment process, and treatment were measured as main outcome. Association was investigated using Chi-square tests, Kruskal Wallis tests, Mann-Whiteney U tests, and multiple logistic regression analysis to evaluate outcome differences among different levels of institutions.

ResultsThe analyses included 421 patients. In comparison with patients receiving treatment at medical centers, regional hospitals, and district hospitals-primary practitioners, patients at the Chest Specialty Hospital were more likely to provide at least three sputum specimens 74.1% vs. 48.2%, 36.8%, and 50.0%, shorter workdays examining sputum smears 2.4 ± 2.4 days vs. 2.6 ± 2.1, 4.5 ± 3.1, and 3.5 ± 2.6 days, shorter interval between the first consultation and treatment 10.1 ± 18.3 days vs. 31.0 ± 53.6, 31.2 ± 70.4, and 25.4 ± 37.6 days, and a higher successful treatment rate 92.6% vs. 65.2%, 63.9%, and 68.0%. Furthermore, after adjusting age and gender, the patients treated by the pulmonologists and treated at Chest Specialty Hospital had significantly more successful treatment rate, of which odds ratios were 1.74 and 4.58 respectively.

ConclusionDifferences in care quality exist among different types of healthcare institutions and among individual physicians. The implementation of practice guidelines should contribute to an improvement in the care quality of the treatment and diagnosis of PTB.

List of abbreviationsPTBpulmonary tuberculosis

WHOWorld Health Organization

CDCCenter for Disease Control

AFBacid-fast bacilli

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-7-107 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Wei-Sheng Chung - Ray-E Chang - How-Ran Guo


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