The American University of Armenia (AUA) Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) recently published an article titled “Family-Based Tuberculosis Counseling Supports Directly Observed Therapy in Armenia: A Pilot Project” in the Journal of Tuberculosis Research, one of the peer-reviewed scientific journals in the field of Tuberculosis (TB).
The paper, authored by Nune Truzyan (MPH 2003), Byron Crape, Tsovinar Harutyunyan (MPH 1999), and Varduhi Petrosyan, explored the feasibility and effectiveness of a family-based counseling which included a psychological component that could help to improve adherence of TB patients to treatment and reduce TB related stigma. This pilot intervention was conducted for TB patients and their families from three marzes (Shirak, Aragatsotn and Kotayk) and Yerevan.
The study aimed at empowering TB patients and their family members to enhance their knowledge and improve patients’ adherence to treatment, leading to reductions in the number of “lost to follow-up” patients. The main findings of the study revealed that a low-cost one-time family-based educational and psychological intervention by a trained nurse and a psychologist can lead to improved treatment outcomes for TB patients.
This family-based intervention could be integrated into the current TB control program. This study served a basis for a larger scale clinical trial in TB care, testing new approaches to TB care that could help reduce TB treatment failure and rates of drug resistance. The study was funded by the Armenian Medical Fund and can be accessed here.
The AUA Gerald and Patricia 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.