Date of Award

12-18-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr.Rodney Lyn

Second Advisor

Dr.Scott J.N. McNabb

Abstract

Emerging multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/XDR-TB) has become a major public health problem, placing millions at risk. Further, nosocomial transmission of MDR/XDR-TB places both patients and healthcare workers at an even higher risk. Effective tuberculosis (TB) infection prevention and control (IPC) policies in high-risk settings must use evidence-based science and should be customized to the setting. However, the growing incidence of MDR/XDR-TB in some global settings raises questions about whether adequate healthcare-related TB IPC policies are in place and whether they are implemented effectively. The purpose of this systematic literature review was to catalogue healthcare-related TB IPC policy research conducted in high-prevalence settings and draw a picture of existing evidence-based TB IPC policies and their implementation, with a focus on preventing and controlling nosocomial transmission of MDR/XDR-TB. Two databases (PubMed and Embase) were searched from 1990 – 2013 and outputs were categorized by region/country, income, MDR/XDR-TB incidence, level of IC intervention, and time period. None of the 20 captured research studies were conducted in TB high-prevalence, low-income settings. Most (12/20) were implemented within the Pan American Health Organization region, followed by the African (4/20) and European (4, 20%) regions. Most studies reviewed (70%) were undertaken because of an outbreak and most (70%) were published between 1990 – 2000. This systematic literature review showed a gap in research on TB IPC policies addressing nosocomial transmission of MDR/XDR-TB in high-prevalence, low-income settings. TB IPC policy development and implementation should be routinely undertaken as a part of effective and efficient public health practice. Development of TB IPC global best practices should be guaranteed and a concerted effort to promote, distribute, train, and implement these TB IPC best practices in low-resource countries would help mitigate the growing incidence of MDR/XDR-TB worldwide.

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