The Indicators of Treatment Outcomes for Tuberculosis Recommended by World Health Organization

Li-Chun Wu

2009 Vol.25 NO.2

Correspondence Author: Hsiu-Yun Lo


Treatment outcomes of tuberculosis (TB) are one of the essential performance indicators in evaluating the performance of national TB control program. It is important to use standardized indicators for outcome analysis, which not only ensure that the performance of TB control programs could be tracked over time but also enable comparison of the performance across countries. The objective of this article is to introduce the definitions of outcome indicators for TB recommended by World Health Organization, and the procedure used in carrying out such an analysis. Cohort analysis was recommended in outcome analysis. Outcome of a patient is determined by the event that first occurs during the course of treatment and should not be modified or changed if another event occurs at a later point in time during the follow-up period. The classification of treatment outcome of new and retreatment TB patients is based on the results of sputum smear for acid-fast bacilli, while the classification of treatment outcome of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients is mainly based on the results of sputum culture for M. Tuberculosis. Outcome of new and retreatment tuberculosis patients is determined at 12 months after the close of the cohort and that for MDR-TB, at 36 months. It is important to regularly evaluate treatment outcomes of TB and to identify constraints for the improvement of national TB control programs, in order to achieve the impact target of halving the mortality and prevalence of TB by 2015, as compared with that in 1990.
Keywords: tuberculosis, treatment outcomes, indicators, World Health Organization