Predictors of adherence to tuberculosis treatment in a supervised therapy programme for prisoners before and after release

A. Marco, J. A. Caylà, M. Serra, R. Pedro, C. Sanrama, R. Guerrero, N. Ribof, J. Fernández, J. Boguña, E. Mercadé, L. I. Torralba, N. Magrí, J. M. Vázquez, E. Serres, J. Alvarós, M. Montero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The prison population is a high-risk group for tuberculosis (TB). This investigation aimed to study predictive factors of treatment adherence among prisoners involved in a pilot programme of supervised treatment. The study included TB patients from the Men's Penitentiary Center of Barcelona (MPCB) in 1995. Directly observed therapy (DOT) was carried out in the infirmary or in a methadone programme. Released prisoners were referred to the municipal maintenance methadone programmes (MMP) and other social resources. Incentives and enablers were used to improve compliance (economic aid for nutritional and housing needs, methadone programmes and admittance to a sociosanitary centre). The outcome of the patients' adherence was classified as follows: completed, defaulted, dead or transferred out. Factors associated with adherence were investigated through logistic regression. The programme included 62 patients, 43 of whom were intravenous drug users (IVDU) and 46 were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Nineteen had previously had TB and 32 were released from prison during TB treatment. Overall adherence was 89%; 97% among those who completed treatment in prison, and 79% among those who completed treatment outside prison (p=0.05). Ninety- five per cent of IVDU in an MMP completed treatment. Homeless or alcoholic exprisoners completed treatment only if they were admitted to sociosanitary centres. DOT throughout treatment resulted in better adherence (odds ratio (OR)= 16.80; confidence interval (CI): 2.42-116.2)). Those who were incarcerated throughout treatment also showed better adherence (OR= 7.36; CI: 0.79-48.16). Antituberculosis treatment adherence in prisoners was high even after release with adequate co-ordination among intrapenitentiary and extrapenitentiary programmes. Maintenance methadone programmes proved very useful in intravenous drug users, as did admittance to sociosanitary centres for indigent or alcoholic exprisoners undergoing treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-971
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998



  • Adherence
  • Compliance
  • Directly observed therapy
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Treatment
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Marco, A., Caylà, J. A., Serra, M., Pedro, R., Sanrama, C., Guerrero, R., Ribof, N., Fernández, J., Boguña, J., Mercadé, E., Torralba, L. I., Magrí, N., Vázquez, J. M., Serres, E., Alvarós, J., & Montero, M. (1998). Predictors of adherence to tuberculosis treatment in a supervised therapy programme for prisoners before and after release. European Respiratory Journal, 12(4), 967-971.