Directly observed therapy in the tuberculosis control strategy in Portugal

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Background: Tuberculosis is a global health problem that requires effective treatment. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that treatment should be tailored and supervised. Portugal has adhered to this strategy, but no studies on this issue were identified. Objective: To describe the implications of Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) for tuberculosis control in Portugal. Methodology: Exploratory and descriptive study with a sample of 303 people suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, in Pulmonary Diagnostic Centers, in Northern Portugal, between March 2019 and January 2020. Results: DOT was the treatment modality used in 88.1% of the sample. Most participants (75.9% of women and 66.3% of men) received treatment under the supervision of a nurse in the health care units. Patients’ expectations do not seem to be a priority. Decision-making regarding the adopted strategy is left to the health professionals and does not seem to prioritize the patient’s participation. Conclusion: The DOT modality is a source of dissatisfaction, aggravates patients’ financial burden, and promotes social stigma.
Translated title of the contributionO tratamento diretamente observado na estratégia de controlo da tuberculose em Portugal
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20129
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Nursing
  • Primary health care
  • Treatment
  • Tuberculosis


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