Management of TB in homeless populations

 

Management of TB in homeless populations

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Management of TB in homeless populations

Background: TB has shown a marked resurgence in the UK, particularly in homeless populations, due to a complexity of factors making them more at risk and less likely to achieve treatment completion. London is Europe’s TB capital, and the disease is a growing problem in larger cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.

Aims: To identify new approaches to managing TB in homeless populations in the UK.

Method: A variety of databases were searched using different search terms, and studies were selected for review based on strict inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results: Three studies were selected for review; two of which looked at the impact and cost-effectiveness of mobile X-ray screening and a third which explored the role of TB link worker working with patients in complex social situations.

Conclusion: All three studies provided fresh ways of addressing the issue of TB in homeless populations; the first two definitively showing the cost- and general effectiveness of a mobile radiographic screening programme, and although the third one did not measure effectiveness per se, the concept could be applied to other TB programmes.

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