Determinants of latent tuberculosis treatment acceptance and completion in healthcare personnel

Melanie D. Swift, Robin G. Molella, Andrew I.S. Vaughn, Laura E. Breeher, Richard D. Newcomb, Shahnaz Abdellatif, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. US public health strategy for eliminating tuberculosis (TB) prioritizes treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI). Healthcare personnel (HCP) are less willing to accept treatment than other populations. Little is known about factors associated with HCP LTBI therapy acceptance and completion. Methods. We conducted a retrospective chart review to identify all employees with LTBI at time of hire at a large academic medical center during a 10-year period. Personal demographics, occupational factors, and clinic visit variables were correlated with LTBI treatment acceptance and completion rates using multivariate logistic regression. Results. Of 470 HCP with LTBI for whom treatment was recommended, 193 (41.1%) accepted treatment, while 137 (29.1%) completed treatment. Treatment adherence was better with 4 months of rifampin than 9 months of isoniazid (95% vs 68%, P <.005). Increased age of the healthcare worker was independently associated with lower rates of treatment acceptance (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.97 [0.94-0.99] per year), as was having an occupation of clinician (0.47 [0.26-0.85]) or researcher (0.34 [0.19-0.64]). Male gender was associated with higher treatment acceptance (1.90 [1.21-2.99]). Treatment completion was associated with being from a low- (9.49 [2.06-43.73]) or medium- (8.51 [3.93-18.44]) TB-burden country. Conclusions. Geographic and occupational factors affect acceptance and completion of LTBI therapy. Short-course regimens may improve adherence. Physicians, researchers, and HCP from high-TB-burden countries have lower treatment rates than other HCP. Improving LTBI treatment in HCP will require attending to cultural and occupational differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Health personnel
  • Latent tuberculosis
  • Occupational health
  • Treatment adherence and compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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