Registering initial defaulters and reporting on their treatment outcomes

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 Jul;13(7):801-3.


This Unresolved Issues article highlights three original articles that appeared last year in the Journal discussing the phenomenon of initial defaulters. There are three important challenges with patients that appear in the laboratory sputum register but are not recorded in the tuberculosis (TB) patient register: the first is how to identify these patients, trace them and get them on to treatment as soon as possible; the second is how to register and report on these cases as part of the case-finding component of TB control; and the third is whether to include these initial default patients in the cohort analysis of treatment outcomes. We recommend a step-wise approach to these challenges and advocate that these patients be included, wherever possible, in the TB patient register and in the cohort analysis of treatment outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Outpatients
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Treatment Refusal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents