Last updated on November 2019

A Nurse Case Management Intervention to Improve MDR-TB/HIV Co-Infection Outcomes

Brief description of study

The researchers of this study are observing the treatment of multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in South Africa. MDR-TB can not be treated with the usual TB drugs and needs to be treated with special drugs. The patients need to take these drugs for up to two years. Certain hospitals have already agreed to participate in this research project, half of the hospitals will be assigned a nurse case manager and the other half will not. The researchers are studying the benefits of having a nurse case manager to improve treatment response for patients with drug resistant TB. The researchers believe that nurse case management (NCM) in the intervention sites will increase MDR-TB cure and completion rates (i.e. treatment success) in comparison to usual care (UC), i.e. standardized programmatic management alone, in patients with and without HIV co-infection. To do this, the researchers will review the medical information collected at the hospital as part of the patient's treatment after obtaining the patient's permission.

Detailed Study Description

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) remains the leading cause of death among persons living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in southern Africa. This syndemic places an overwhelming burden on healthcare workers and the health system. Drug-resistant TB remains a growing threat to public health despite advances in treatment and diagnosis over the past decade. South Africa has the world's highest rate of TB/HIV co-infection and ranks fourth worldwide for both multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB incidence and HIV prevalence. Treatment of MDR-TB, defined as resistance to isoniazid and rifampin, remains challenging and its treatment course complex. Success of second line treatment regimens is considerably less likely than first line treatment with significantly more adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Prospective cohort studies from South Africa report less than 50% treatment success (i.e. cure or completion) and significant differences in patients with and without HIV are noted. Differences in sex and gender as well as age are rarely evaluated. In addition to the management complexity and length of treatment, systems level factors such as access to care and healthcare capacity contribute to poorer treatment outcomes. Insufficient numbers of trained physicians capable and clinically competent to manage the challenges of integrated MDR-TB/HIV care are commonplace. These circumstances place a heavy burden on the most abundant healthcare resource in South Africa, the nurse. Nurses with proficiency in care models for both diseases are essential to improve treatment outcomes. The investigators experience dictates, however, that patients endure lengthy treatment with little assessment, support or guidance from nursing professionals due to a lack of training as well as lack of evidence-based interventions and delineated models of care for MDR-TB patients.

Nurse case management (NCM) models in which a registered nurse facilitates and coordinates treatment plans to ensure that timely, evidence-based care is given improves treatment outcomes. Presently, there is little evidence to describe such models in TB/HIV co-infected patients globally, and specifically less evidence for MDR-TB/HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Many studies, however, have demonstrated substantial improvements in disease outcomes utilizing nurse case managers. Complex diseases such as heart failure, diabetes, HIV and drug susceptible TB are among these. Substantial gaps remain, however, in the investigators understanding of the impact of such interventions among co-infected patients, the influence of such models among different age groups or the cost-benefit in under resourced settings. Prior studies provide strong evidence that interventions must be multi-faceted and foster system level approaches to improve treatment outcomes (i.e. NCM patient-centered care services coupled with systems level approaches to care coordination). The Chronic Care Model identifies essential elements of a health care system that encourage high-quality chronic disease care in such a systems approach. These elements provide the conceptual model and implementation structure for the proposed NCM plus health systems strengthening (i.e. NCM-plus) intervention, a multi-faceted health systems and patient-centered intervention to improve MDR-TB/HIV treatment outcomes. The proposed 5-year cluster randomized trial, will evaluate the NCM-plus intervention on MDR-TB treatment outcomes in South Africa, the epicenter of the MDR-TB/HIV epidemic.

Primary Aim:

To determine the impact of a NCM model (i.e. NCM-Plus) on MDR-TB outcomes in patients with and without HIV co-infection in South Africa through a cluster randomized trial.


Nurse case management (NCM) in intervention sites will increase MDR-TB cure and completion rates (i.e. treatment success) in comparison to usual care (UC), i.e. standardized programmatic management alone, in patients with and without HIV co-infection.

Secondary Aims:

  1. To conduct sub-group analysis by a) HIV co-infection; b) sex and gender; and c) age
  2. To compare the frequency and time to identification of adverse drug events between intervention and control sites.
  3. To conduct a costing analysis and a cost-effectiveness evaluation of the intervention.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02129244

Recruitment Status: Closed

Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team

Volunteer Sign-up

Sign up for our FREE service to receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.