Directly observed treatment for tuberculosis in pharmacies compared with self-administered therapy in Spain

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2006 Feb;10(2):215-21.


Objectives: To compare directly observed treatment (DOT) of tuberculosis through pharmacy offices with self-administered treatment (SAT) in patients at risk for non-adherence.

Methods: Prospective study for DOT (1999-2002) and retrospective study for SAT (1996-1998) in patients at risk for non-adherence (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection, alcoholism, illicit drug use, immigrant or homeless status and/or previous failure to complete). Patients in the DOT programme received medication as out-patients twice a week in pharmacies that supervised adherence and provided socio-sanitary support to patients.

Results: There were 101 and 112 patients in the DOT and SAT groups, respectively. Demographic and clinical characteristics were similar in both groups. Differences were observed in risk factors for non-adherence (more immigrants and fewer intravenous drug users in the DOT vs. the SAT groups; P < 0.05). In the DOT group, 76 patients (75.2%) completed treatment and were cured compared to only 30 patients (26.7%) in the SAT group (P < 0.001). Implementation of DOT increased the cost of treatment by 400 Euro per patient compared to SAT.

Conclusion: In patients at risk for non-adherence, DOT implemented through pharmacy offices was better than SAT; however, completion rates were still low.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Directly Observed Therapy / methods*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pharmacies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Administration / statistics & numerical data
  • Spain
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents