Date of Conferral





Public Health


James Rohrer


Despite decades of the implementation of the directly observed therapy short-course (DOTS), Sierra Leone is ranked among the 30 highest TB-burdened countries. Several factors account for unfavorable treatment outcomes, among which are patient characteristics. Previous studies have only focused on treatment compliance without any consideration for the factors that lead to noncompliance to treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate patient characteristics that are associated with treatment noncompliance (treatment not completed) among TB patients undergoing the DOTS program in Sierra Leone. A retrospective longitudinal quantitative design was used to analyze secondary data from the completed records of 1,633 TB patients, using the Andersen's behavioral model of health services utilization as a theoretical framework work. Descriptive statistics and bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to analyze the data. The results show that there was no significant association between treatment completion and age, gender, and TB-case category. On the other hand, being HIV-positive decreases the odds of treatment completion. Also, the educational level, geographic location, and year of treatment were significantly associated with treatment completion. Overall, program performance improved as the number of dropouts decreased significantly between 2013 and 2015. The social change implication of this study was that it identified HIV-positive patients and rural communities as areas needing specific attention such as the assignment of case managers to ensure compliance thereby improve DOTS program performance, thereby reducing the incidence and transmission of TB