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Adherence to standard treatment guidelines among prescribers in primary healthcare facilities in the Dodoma region of Tanzania

Wiedenmayer, Karin and Ombaka, Eva and Kabudi, Baraka and Canavan, Robert and Rajkumar, Sarah and Chilunda, Fiona and Sungi, Selemani and Stoermer, Manfred. (2021) Adherence to standard treatment guidelines among prescribers in primary healthcare facilities in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. BMC Health Services Research, 21. p. 272.

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Abstract

Background Tanzania's primary healthcare system suffers from a scarcity of financial and human resources that impedes its effectiveness to deliver dependable and uniform quality healthcare. Adherence to standard treatment guidelines (STG) can help provide more consistent and correct diagnoses and treatments and limit the irrational use of medicines and the negative health consequences that can occur as a result. The purpose of this study was to investigate prescribers' adherence of their diagnoses and respective treatments to national STG and to identify potential areas for planning interventions. Methods A cross-sectional study on prescribers' adherence to diagnosis and treatment, according to national STG, was conducted in 2012 in public primary healthcare facilities (HCF) in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. Information on 2886 patients was collected, prospectively and retrospectively, from 120 HCF across the Dodoma region using a structured questionnaire. Twenty-five broadly defined main illness groups were recorded and the nine most prevalent and relevant conditions were statistically analysed in detail. Results Diagnoses and related treatments were recorded and analysed in 2872 cases. The nine most prevalent conditions were upper respiratory tract infections (25%), malaria (18%), diarrhoea (9.9%), pneumonia (6.1%), skin problems (5.8%), gastrointestinal diagnoses (5%), urinary tract infections (4%), worm infestations (3.6%) and eye problems (2.1%). Only 1.8% of all diagnoses were non-communicable diseases. The proportion of prescribers' primary diagnoses that completely adhered to national STG was 599 (29.9%), those that partially adhered totalled 775 (38.7%), wrong medication was given in 621 cases (30.9%) and no diagnosis or medication was given in nine cases (0.5%). Sixty-one percent of all patients received an antibiotic regardless of the diagnoses. Complete adherence was highest when worms were diagnosed and lowest for diarrhoea. The proportion of cases that did not adhere to STG was highest with patients with skin problems and lowest for malaria. Conclusion Prescribers' general adherence to national STG in primary HCF in the public sector in Dodoma region is sub-optimal. The reasons are multifaceted and focused attention, directed at improving prescribing and pharmacotherapy, is required with a view of improving patient care and health outcomes.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Swiss Centre for International Health (SCIH) > Health Systems Support (Prytherch)
UniBasel Contributors:Wiedenmayer, Karin Anne
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
e-ISSN:1472-6963
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:07 Apr 2021 13:52
Deposited On:07 Apr 2021 13:52

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