SPH Publishes Research on People-Centeredness of TB Treatment

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The researchers from the Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) recently published “A Qualitative Assessment of People-Centeredness of Inpatient Tuberculosis Treatment Services in Armenia.” The article was published in the Journal of Tuberculosis Research, a peer-reviewed journal that serves as a platform for promoting and discussing various innovations and developments in tuberculosis (TB) research.

The study authored by Zaruhi Grigoryan (MPH ‘15), Nune Truzyan (MPH ‘03) DVM, Lusine Musheghyan (MPH ‘14) MSW, and Varduhi Petrosyan MS, PhD, discusses patient and family rights protection and education as important components of a people-centered approach in TB treatment.

The article sheds light on the results of a qualitative assessment of patients’ and providers’ experiences in the country’s largest in-patient TB facility. The assessment reveals the gaps between the existing practices and the recommended people-centered approaches for TB care from the perspective of patient and family rights protection and education.

The results of the qualitative assessment revealed that even though TB physicians and nurses reported about regularly educating the patients and families as well as taking action to protect their rights, those practices varied across clinical departments and professionals and did not always meet the international recommendations. The inconsistency in provider practices and discordance of patient experiences, coupled with the lack of written guiding policies or procedures, pointed at the need to transform the provided care and integrate formal processes for patient and family rights protection and education.

The study findings have contributed to national policy changes implemented since 2019 when Armenia introduced the people-centered model of care. Currently, at the beginning of the intensive phase of treatment, patients with drug-sensitive TB receive educational and psychological counseling while family members are trained to support patients throughout the treatment continuation phase to facilitate better treatment adherence and outcomes. The SPH has closely collaborated with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia and the National Pulmonary Center to develop and implement this policy.

The assessment used in this article received financial support from the Armenian Medical Fund and the implementation of the policy on people-centered TB care was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.