Background: Long term status of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients treated with short course chemotherapy (SCC) regimens remains unknown.
Objective: To assess the clinical, bacteriological, radiological status and health related quality of life (HRQoL) of PTB patients 14-18 years after successful treatment with SCC.
Methodology: In a cross-sectional study, cured PTB patients treated during 1986-1990 at the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC) were investigated for their current health status including pulmonary function tests (PFT). The St Georges respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ) was used to assess the HRQoL.
Results: The mean period after treatment completion for the 363 eligible participants was 16.5 yrs (range 14-18 yrs., 84% coverage); 25 (7%) had been re-treated and 52 (14%) died. Among the investigated, 58 (29%) had persistent respiratory symptoms; 170 (86%) had radiological sequelae but none had active disease. Abnormal PFT was observed in 96 (65%) with predominantly restrictive type of disease in 66 (45%). The SGRQ scores for activity and impact were high implying impairment in HRQoL.
Conclusion: Assessment of long term status of cured PTB patients showed an impairment of lung functions and HRQoL highlighting the need to address these issues in the management of TB that may provide added value to patient care.