Peer Reviewed Study
Real-world implementation of video-observed therapy in an urban TB program in the United States
Background: Video directly observed therapy (vDOT) was introduced to increase flexibility and meet patient-specific needs for TB treatment. This study aimed to assess the reach and effectiveness of vDOT for TB treatment under routine conditions in Alameda County, CA, USA, a busy, urban setting, from 2018 to 2020.
Methods: We prospectively evaluated routinely collected data to estimate 1) reach (proportion of patients initiated on vDOT vs. in-person DOT); and 2) effectiveness (proportion of prescribed doses with verified administration by vDOT vs. in-person DOT).
Results: Among 163 TB patients, 94 (58%) utilized vDOT during treatment, of whom 54 (57%) received exclusively vDOT. Individuals receiving vDOT were on average younger than those receiving in-person therapy (46 vs. 61 years; P< 0.001). The median time to vDOT initiation was 2.2 weeks (IQR 1.1-10.0); patients were monitored for a median of 27.0 weeks (IQR 24.6-31.9). vDOT led to higher proportions of verified prescribed doses than in-person DOT (68% vs. 54%; P< 0.001). Unobserved self-administration occurred for all patients on weekends based on clinic instructions, but a larger proportion of doses were self-administered during periods of in-person DOT than of vDOT (45% vs. 24%; P< 0.001).
Conclusion: A TB program successfully maintained vDOT, reaching the majority of patients and achieving greater medication verification than in-person DOT.
Download this Guide to Managing Medication Adherence to learn about the medication adherence problem, its many and varied causes, the available tools, and the comprehensive solution.