Compliance to Antituberculous Drugs among Patients in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq


Introduction: In Erbil, Kurdistan region of Iraq, some patients registered with tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in Chest and Respiratory DiseasesCenter have interrupted treatment before completing their course, and many patients take their treatment irregularly due to different reasons. Inthis study, we try to determine the percentage of patients who are noncompliant to antituberculous drugs, to know the causes of noncomplianceand to compare the outcome of patients taking drugs irregularly to those who take them regularly. Materials and Methods: Patients enrolled inthis study were those who were diagnosed as having TB and registered in Erbil Chest and Respiratory Center during the years 2015 and 2016.Data were collected from patient forms and registers. For most patients, the causes of interruption in the course of treatment are not documentedin the registers, and thus patients had been called by phone to know factors behind that. Results: Among 394 patients registered in this study,it was found that 57 patients (15%) registered to having TB have been registered as default from the treatment and 14 patients (3.55%) haveinterrupted their treatment because they had been wrongly diagnosed as TB. Fifteen patients (3.8%) have completed their treatment, but theirfollow‑up was not documented. One (0.25%) of the patients completed his treatment outside Iraq. Another patient was originally from othergovernorates (Al‑Anbar) and completed his treatment when he returned to his governorate. Two (0.5%) were non‑Iraqi patients who returnedto their countries and their outcome is unknown. Five (1.27%) of the patients stopped treatment due to side effects of drugs; three (0.8) of themwere told by the referring doctor to stop treatment. Conclusion: Most TB‑infected patients who were registered in Erbil Chest and RespiratoryDiseases Center were compliant to the treatment but with occasional interruptions. Not all patients who were registered as default were reallydefaulters as many of those have completed their treatment, but their follow‑up was not documented, and many were misdiagnosed as TB