Adherence to and acceptability of artemether-lumefantrine as first-line anti-malarial treatment: evidence from a rural community in Tanzania.


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Adherence to and acceptability of artemether-lumefantrine as first-line anti-malarial treatment: evidence from a rural community in Tanzania.
Malaria Journal
Kabanywanyi A.M., Lengeler C., Kasim P., King'eng'ena S., Schlienger R., Mulure N., Genton B.
1475-2875[electronic], 1475-2875[linking]
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BACKGROUND: Controlled clinical trials have shown that a six-dose regimen of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria results in cure rates >95% with good tolerability.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective study was carried out to document the adherence to and acceptability of AL administration. This was undertaken in the context of the ALIVE study, a prospective, community-based, observational study in a rural, malaria-endemic area of Tanzania. Following microscopic confirmation of P. falciparum infection, the first AL dose was taken under supervision, with the subsequent five doses taken unsupervised at home. Patients were randomized to receive a home-based assessment close to the scheduled time for one of the unsupervised doses, but were blinded to which follow-up visit they had been allocated. A structured questionnaire was administered by trained staff and AL consumption was confirmed by inspection of blister packs.
RESULTS: A total of 552 patients were recruited of whom 352 (63.8%) were <13 years old. The randomization process allocated 112, 109, 110, 100 and 111 patients to a follow-up visit after doses 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, respectively. For dose 2, 92.0% of patients (103/112) correctly took AL at 8 +/- 1 hours after dose 1. The remaining doses were taken within four hours of the correct time in 87-95% of cases. Nine patients (1.7%) missed one dose. Blister packs were available for inspection in 548 of cases (99.3%) and confirmed patient-reported data that the previous dose had been administered. Nearly all patients took AL with water (549/552 [99.5%]). Two patients (0.4%) took the drug with food. The dosing pictogram and clustering of tablets within the blister packs was considered helpful by 91.8% and 100.0% of patients, respectively. Overall, 87.1% of patients (481/552) found AL easier to take/administer than sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and 87.7% (484/552) believed that AL was more effective than SP.
DISCUSSION: Factors contributing to adherence were likely to be helpful packaging, pictorial dosing instructions and patients' conviction that AL is effective.
CONCLUSION: Adherence to the dosing regimen and timing of AL administration was very good.
Administration, Oral, Antimalarials/therapeutic use, Artemisinins/therapeutic use, Child, Child, Preschool, Drug Administration Schedule, Drug Combinations, Drug Therapy, Combination, Ethanolamines/therapeutic use, Female, Fluorenes/therapeutic use, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Infant, Malaria, Falciparum/diagnosis, Malaria, Falciparum/drug therapy, Male, Medication Adherence/statistics & numerical data, Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data, Plasmodium falciparum/drug effects, Prospective Studies, Questionnaires, Rural Population, Tanzania, Treatment Outcome
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02/07/2010 18:42
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20/08/2019 15:24
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