A novel approach to monitoring adherence to preventive therapy for tuberculosis in adolescence

J Paediatr Child Health. 1999 Aug;35(4):350-4.


Objectives: To evaluate the usefulness of a microelectronic tablet-dispenser for monitoring adherence to preventive therapy for tuberculosis infection in adolescents.

Methodology: Twenty-one patients with positive Mantoux tests were treated with isoniazid (INH), dispensed in a microelectronic tablet-dispenser that recorded the date, time and duration that the container was opened. Other measures of adherence included attendance at clinic, patient self-report, tablet count, and measurement of urinary INH metabolites.

Results: The mean adherence rates were: 83% using attendance at clinic, 91% using tablet counts, 79% using urine assays, and 66% using the electronic tablet-dispenser. Self-reporting appeared to over-estimate adherence.

Conclusion: Adherence to 6 months of INH calculated using different measures is higher in this study than in previous reports. Microelectronic tablet-dispensers are an effective method to objectively measure adherence on a daily basis. Other measures are less helpful.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Drug Therapy, Computer-Assisted*
  • Humans
  • Isoniazid / administration & dosage*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Isoniazid