About this resource:

Systematic review

Source: The Cochrane Collaborative

Last Reviewed: November 2014

Effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB) requires people to take multiple drugs daily for at least 6 months. However, some patients stop attending clinics and stop taking their medication once they start to feel well again, which can lead to the illness returning and the development of drug resistance. Reminder systems prompt patients with telephone calls or letters before the next scheduled appointment ("pre-appointment reminders"), or phone calls, letters, or home visits after a missed appointment ("default reminders"). This systematic review summarized trials evaluating the effects of reminder systems on attendance at TB clinics and completion of TB treatment. It identified 9 trials that included 4,654 people. It found that for people treated for active TB, more people attended the clinic and completed TB treatment with pre-appointment reminder phone-calls and a policy of default reminders. For people on TB prophylaxis, more people attended the clinic with pre-appointment phone calls.

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Suggested Citation


Liu, Q., Abba, K., Alejandria, M. M., Sinclair, D., Balanag, V. M., & Lansang, M. A. D. (2014). Reminder systems to improve patient adherence to tuberculosis clinic appointments for diagnosis and treatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014 (11).  DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006594.pub3.