Nutritional assessment and counselling of tuberculosis patients at primary care in India: do we measure up?

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2019 Feb 1;23(2):147-150. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.18.0333. Epub 2019 Jan 8.


Setting: Dakshina Kannada District, coastal South India, under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).

Objective: To identify the potential and practices at primary health centres (PHCs) for the assessment of nutritional status of patients with tuberculosis (TB), the basic tools used to measure height and weight and the type of nutritional counselling provided.

Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted with physical verification of availability of height and weight measuring equipment. Information was collected on the method used by medical officers for assessing nutritional status in PHCs, action taken in case the patient is undernourished and any formal training in nutritional assessment and counselling.

Results: Of 37 PHCs assessed, weighing machines were available in all and stadiometers in 38%. Medical officers were not calculating body mass index for nutritional assessment even when height and weight were being uniformly measured. Nutritional classification was mostly based on the appearance and physique of the patient. Counselling included advice to take milk, eggs and protein powders with efforts to arrange funds from village health, sanitation and nutrition committees.

Conclusion: There is a need to equip the PHCs and their medical officers with necessary tools and training for nutritional assessment and counselling of patients with tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Equipment and Supplies / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • India
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Tuberculosis / therapy*