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Challenges Faced by Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Patients in Three Financially Affluent Chinese Cities

Authors Zhang P, Xu G, Song Y, Tan J, Chen T, Deng G

Received 10 August 2020

Accepted for publication 5 October 2020

Published 2 November 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2387—2394


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Peize Zhang,1,* Guanghui Xu,2,* Yanhua Song,3,* Jie Tan,1 Tao Chen,1 Guofang Deng1

1Department of Pulmonary Medicine & Tuberculosis, The Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China; 2Jiangmen Institute of Tuberculosis Prevention and Control, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Tuberculosis, Chest Hospital of Peking, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Guofang Deng Email

Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze socioeconomic burdens and other difficulties that multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients in cities are facing, to identify major obstacles and which groups of patients are most affected.
Methods: Face-to-face and phone-call interviews were conducted in early 2018 to follow-up with patients newly diagnosed with MDR-TB in 2017 in three tuberculosis hospitals in three financially affluent Chinese cities. Demographic data and information on their medical care, insurance coverage, and medical expenses were collected and analyzed.
Results: A total of 144 newly diagnosed MDR-TB cases were reviewed during the study period, excluding 38 who were lost to follow-up and 29 patients who refused to participate, 77 patients were enrolled in this study. A total of 61 (79%) of these patients were hospitalized after MDR-TB diagnosis with an average hospital stay of 14 days, of them 57 (74%) were sputum positive on diagnosis. The proportion of patients who failed community care were 48% married, 56% in white collar employment and 43% in temp jobs/unemployed. In terms of insurance coverage, the proportion of patients who failed community care were 23% with no insurance and/or New Rural Co-operative Medical Care Scheme (NRCMS) and 45% with Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI)/Urban Residents Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) and commercial insurance. Difficulties patients encountered were, financial pressure (33%), psychological stress (26%), adverse drug reactions (23%), repulsive reaction to injections (17%). Fourty-eight percent of the patients spent over ¥ 2000 (USD300) per month on TB treatment.
Conclusion: Despite insurance coverage, financial hardship remains the number one difficulty MDR-TB patients encountered in relatively financially affluent cities. Among them, the married working class were found to be the most financially sensitive group and have the highest tendency to fail community care. It is of utmost urgency to enhance the current medical policy to improve treatment adherence.

Keywords: socioeconomic burden, MDR-TB, patient care, financial support, catastrophic cost, treatment adherence

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