Zaruhi Grigoryan (MPH ‘15) Publishes Master’s Project in Patient Preference and Adherence Journal

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YEREVAN, Armenia — Zaruhi Grigoryan (MPH ‘15), a research associate at the Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) of the Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) at the American University of Armenia (AUA), published a research article in the August issue of Patient Preference and Adherence, an internationally ranked peer-reviewed academic journal.

Based on Grigoryan’s Master of Public Health thesis project, the paper is titled “Factors Influencing Treatment Adherence Among Drug-Sensitive Tuberculosis (DS-TB) Patients in Armenia: A Qualitative Study.” CHS faculty and researchers Dr. Robert McPherson, Dr. Tsovinar Harutyunyan (MPH ‘99), Dr. Nune Truzyan (MPH ‘03), and Serine Sahakyan (MPH ‘15) are the co-authors of the paper.

The article describes the TB burden globally and locally, highlights the importance of treatment adherence for preventing more severe drug-resistant TB forms, and presents the findings of a qualitative study on factors that facilitate treatment adherence among Armenian drug-sensitive TB patients successfully completing their treatment.

The study reveals that TB patients’ positive thoughts about the disease, trust in healthcare providers, and sense of responsibility toward seeking treatment for their disease were among the strongest factors that helped them complete the treatment. Former patients who successfully completed the long-lasting and challenging treatment and overcame the disease valued the support they received from providers, family, and friends throughout the process and identified it as a strong facilitator of adherence. In contrast to existing knowledge suggesting that stigma has a negative effect on treatment adherence, the study suggested that patients’ desire to avoid it motivated them to complete the treatment as soon as possible. Accessibility and affordability of TB services in Armenia also enabled patients to adhere to treatment.

The paper provides new insights into facilitators of TB treatment adherence which, once integrated into TB care, may contribute to improving treatment outcomes.

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