Objectives: Mobile phone interventions have been advocated for tuberculosis care, but little is known about access of target populations to mobile phones. We studied mobile phone access among patients with tuberculosis, focusing on vulnerable patients and patients who later had adverse treatment outcomes.
Methods: In a prospective cohort study in Callao, Peru, we recruited and interviewed 2584 patients with tuberculosis between 2007 and 2013 and followed them until 2016 for adverse treatment outcomes using national treatment registers. Subsequently, we recruited a further 622 patients between 2016 and 2017. Data were analysed using logistic regression and by calculating relative risks (RR).
Results: Between 2007 and 2013, the proportion of the general population of Peru without mobile phone access averaged 7.8% but for patients with tuberculosis was 18% (P < 0.001). Patients without access were more likely to hold a lower socioeconomic position, suffer from food insecurity and be older than 50 years (all P < 0.01). Compared to patients with mobile phone access, patients without access at recruitment were more likely to subsequently have incomplete treatment (20% vs. 13%, RR = 1.5; P = 0.001) or an adverse treatment outcome (29% vs. 23% RR = 1.3; P = 0.006). Between 2016 and 2017, the proportion of patients without access dropped to 8.9% overall, but remained the same (18%) as in 2012 among the poorest third.
Conclusion: Access to mobile phones among patients with tuberculosis is insufficient, and rarest in patients who are poorer and later have adverse treatment outcomes. Thus, mobile phone interventions to improve tuberculosis care may be least accessed by the priority populations for whom they are intended. Such interventions should ensure access to mobile phones to enhance equity.
Les interventions basées sur la téléphonie mobile ont été préconisées pour les soins de la tuberculose (
Dans une étude de cohorte prospective à Callao, au Pérou, nous avons recruté et interviewé 2.584 patients atteints de
Entre 2007 et 2013, la proportion de la population générale du Pérou sans accès au téléphone mobile était en moyenne de 7,8%, mais pour les patients avec la
L'accès à la téléphonie mobile chez les patients atteints de
Keywords: Mhealth; Mobile Health; e-santé; ehealth; m-santé; santé mobile; tuberculose; tuberculosis.
© 2018 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.