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Does test-based prescription of evidence-based treatment for malaria improve treatment seeking and satisfaction? Findings of repeated cross-sectional surveys in Papua New Guinea

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Pulford, Justin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4756-8480, Saweri, Olga PM, Jeffery, Caroline ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8023-0708, Siba, Peter M, Mueller, Ivo and Hetzel, Manuel W (2018) 'Does test-based prescription of evidence-based treatment for malaria improve treatment seeking and satisfaction? Findings of repeated cross-sectional surveys in Papua New Guinea'. BMJ Global Health, Vol 3, Issue 6.

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Abstract

Introduction: The presumptive treatment of febrile illness with antimalarial medication is becoming less common in low- and middle-income countries as access to reliable diagnostic tests improves. We explore whether the shift towards test-based antimalarial prescription, and the introduction of highly efficacious artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), reduces critical delays in seeking treatment for febrile illness or increases patient satisfaction.
Methods: We conducted countrywide repeat, cross-sectional surveys in 118 randomly selected primary healthcare services in Papua New Guinea. The clinical case management of 1765 consecutively presenting febrile patients was observed and exit interviews were completed at discharge. This was done prior to implementation of test-based ACT prescription (2011) and at 12- (2012) and 60-months (2016) post implementation. We conducted multiple logistic regressions. Treatment response time was dichotomised as <24 hours from symptom onset vs. 24+ hours. Satisfaction was dichotomised as a ‘high’ vs. ‘low’ rating based on participant response to a visual, 7-point likert-type scale.
Results: 62% (322/517) of febrile patients reported seeking treatment within 24 hours of symptom onset in 2011 compared to 53% (230/434) in 2012 and 42% (339/814) in 2016. Adjusted odds ratios for reporting a treatment response time <24 hours in the post-implementation surveys were 0.77 (95% CI 0.48, 1.26) and 0.45 (%% CI 0.31, 0.65), respectively when compared with the pre-implementation period. 53% (230/533) of febrile patients reported ‘high’ satisfaction with the service received in 2011 compared to 32% (143/449) in 2012 and 35% (278/803) in 2016. Adjusted odds ratios for reporting high satisfaction in the post-implementation surveys were 0.52 (95% CI 0.32, 0.85) and 0.65 (95% CI 0.39, 1.10), respectively when compared with the pre-implementation period.
Conclusion: Nationwide implementation of test-based ACT prescription in Papua New Guinea has increased the likelihood of critical treatment seeking delays and decreased patient satisfaction with the service received.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Anti-Infective Agents. Antineoplastic Agents > QV 256 Antimalarials
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 770 Therapy
WL Nervous System > WL 300 General works (Include works on brain alone)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000915
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2018 17:01
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2018 11:19
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/9445

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