Setting: The Republic of Moldova, in Eastern Europe, has among the highest reported nationwide proportions of tuberculosis (TB) patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) worldwide. Default has been associated with increased mortality and amplification of drug resistance, and may contribute to the high MDR-TB rates in Moldova.
Objective: To assess risk factors and timing of default from treatment for non-MDR-TB from 2007 to 2010.
Design: A retrospective analysis of routine surveillance data on all non-MDR-TB patients reported.
Results: A total of 14.7% of non-MDR-TB patients defaulted from treatment during the study period. Independent risk factors for default included sociodemographic factors, such as homelessness, living alone, less formal education and spending substantial time outside Moldova in the year prior to diagnosis; and health-related factors such as human immunodeficiency virus co-infection, greater lung pathology and increasing TB drug resistance. Anti-tuberculosis treatment is usually initiated within an institutional setting in Moldova, and the default risk was highest in the month following the phase of hospitalized treatment (among civilians) and after leaving prison (among those diagnosed while incarcerated).
Conclusions: Targeted interventions to increase treatment adherence for patients at highest risk of default, and improving the continuity of care for patients transitioning from institutional to community care may substantially reduce risk of default.