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Clinical diagnosis of smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis: an audit of diagnostic practice in hospitals in Malawi

Harries, A. D., Hargreaves, N.J., Kwanjana, J. H. and Salaniponi, F. M. (2001) 'Clinical diagnosis of smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis: an audit of diagnostic practice in hospitals in Malawi'. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Vol 5, Issue 12, pp. 1143-1147.

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SETTING: Thirty-seven hospitals in Malawi. OBJECTIVE: To audit the hospital practice of clinically diagnosing adults with smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of adults aged 15 years or above who were registered and receiving inpatient treatment for smear-negative PTB. An assessment of each patient was carried out to determine 1) the number of recommended diagnostic guidelines (cough >3 weeks, no response to antibiotics, negative sputum smears and a chest radiograph compatible with PTB) used by hospital staff in making the diagnosis of PTB, and 2) whether the clinical diagnosis of smear-negative PTB was correct according to criteria set by the study. RESULTS: There were 259 patients, 127 men and 132 women, with a mean age of 37 years; 93% had a cough >3 weeks, 95% had received one or more courses of antibiotics, 92% had submitted sputum samples for smear examination and 97% had chest radiographs performed. In 148 (57%) patients, all four diagnostic guidelines were used, and in 238 (92%) patients three or more were used. The diagnosis of smear-negative PTB was considered correct by study criteria in 203 (78%) patients. In the remainder, 22 (8%) were considered to have extrapulmonary TB and 34 (14%) another diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Hospital practices in the diagnosis of smear-negative PTB are reasonable, although there is room for improvement with in-service training and regular audits of practice.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QY Clinical Pathology > Diagnostic Tests > QY 120 Sputum
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 220 Diagnosis. Prognosis
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 300 Pulmonary tuberculosis
WX Hospitals and Other Health Facilities > Clinical Departments and Units > WX 207 Clinical and pathological laboratories
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 09:44
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 10:11


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