Is quarterly cohort analysis useful for assessing treatment outcomes in a low incidence country?

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2001 Mar;5(3):250-6.


Setting: In the Czech Republic, a country regarded as having a low incidence of tuberculosis (TB), short-course chemotherapy (SCC) of TB has been implemented in routine practice country-wide.

Objective: To assess the outcome of SCC by quarterly cohort analysis of patients using the methodology recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Design: Patients with newly detected bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB notified in 1998 were treated according to local recommendations (SCC) or with the WHO-recommended DOTS strategy. The type of chemotherapy and its outcome were evaluated 12 months later by quarterly cohort analysis.

Results: A total of 731 patients with bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB, 403 of them smear-positive, were assessed. The proportion of those treated under the DOTS strategy increased from 56.2% to 75.1%. Favourable treatment outcomes (cure or treatment completed) were achieved in 69.0% of patients in the first quarter and 74.0% in the fourth quarter. Only four treatment failures and 21 defaulters were recorded. A total of 129 patients (15-21% in different cohorts) died before or during treatment, mostly from causes not connected with TB. If this proportion were not taken into account, treatment efficacy would have attained 85%.

Conclusions: Analysis of SCC based on quarterly cohorts proved feasible in routine conditions in a country with a low incidence of TB and ongoing TB control, and provided more information than once yearly analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Czech Republic / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • World Health Organization


  • Antitubercular Agents