Adaptation of WHO’s generic tuberculosis patient cost instrument for a longitudinal study in Africa

By  Dr. Denise Evans  Craig van Rensburg  Caroline Mandimika  Olena Ivanova, Friedrich Rieß, Andrew Siroka, Abdou K. Sillah, Nyanda Elias Ntinginya, Ilesh Jani, Farzana Sathar  Professor Sydney Rosen  Professor Ian Sanne  Andrea Rachow and Knut Lönnroth on behalf of the TB Sequel Consortium  |  | 

The WHO developed a generic ‘TB patient cost survey’ tool and a standardized approach to assess the direct and indirect costs of TB incurred by patients and their households, estimate the proportion of patients experiencing catastrophic costs, and measure the impact of interventions to reduce patient costs. While the generic tool is a facility-based cross-sectional survey, this standardized approach needs to be adapted for longitudinal studies. A longitudinal approach may overcome some of the limitations of a cross-sectional design and estimate the economic burden of TB more precisely. We describe the process of creating a longitudinal instrument and its application to the TB Sequel study, an ongoing multi-country, multi-center observational cohort study. We adapted the cross-sectional WHO generic TB patient cost survey instrument for the longitudinal study design of TB Sequel and the local context in each study country (South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, and The Gambia). The generic instrument was adapted for use at enrollment (start of TB treatment; Day 0) and at 2, 6, 12 and 24 months after enrollment, time points intended to capture costs incurred for diagnosis, during treatment, at the end of treatment, and during long-term follow-up once treatment has been completed. These time points make the adapted version suitable for use in patients with either drug-sensitive or drug-resistant TB. Using the adapted tool provides the opportunity to repeat measures and make comparisons over time, describe changes that extend beyond treatment completion, and link cost survey data to treatment outcomes and post-TB sequelae.

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Global Health Action