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Journal of Refugee & Global Health

Abstract

Background: A review of newly arriving refugees referred to the local health department for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment during 2013-2015 revealed a treatment gap of 73%, supporting the need to identify new approaches to treat vulnerable populations and mirrored results in the literature.

Objectives: 1) Describe an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) led alternative approach to LTBI treatment in the refugee population; and 2) evaluate the impact of a 12-week regimen for LTBI on treatment acceptance, adherence and completion.

Methods: During the initial health screening visit, treatment options were provided for those identified with LTBI consisting of either a 12-week regimen requiring weekly directly observed therapy (DOT) or the traditional 9-month treatment.

Results: During March-December 2016, 50 refugees were referred and 24/50 were offered a 12-week regimen of Rifapentine and Isoniazid, administered with DOT. 23 of the 24 or 96% completed the entire treatment course.

Conclusions: The new LTBI clinic process resulted in an increase in treatment acceptance and completion compared with the historic rate of 27%.

Implications for Nursing: APRN initiatives such as this can result in positive benefits to patients and communities while serving to advance the nursing profession in all practice settings

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