Objective: To determine whether incentives increase adherence to directly observed therapy (DOT) for tuberculosis (TB) treatment.
Methods: The TB program gave a five-dollar grocery coupon for each DOT appointment kept to 55 patients who had missed at least 25% of DOT doses over a 4-week period. Treatment completion rates were compared with an historic control group of 52 patients who began treatment a year earlier, who would have been eligible for incentives but did not receive them.
Results: Incentive program patients were more likely than control patients to complete therapy within 32 weeks (OR 5.73, 95%CI 2.25-14.84) and 52 weeks (OR 7.29, 95%CI 2.45-22.73).
Conclusion: Patient incentives can increase adherence to DOT in TB programs.