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Clinical Trial Summary

Although curative treatment exists, tuberculosis (TB) remains the leading cause of infectious mortality worldwide - often because people seek care for TB symptoms in highly resource-constrained clinics that cannot provide same-day diagnostic testing. The research team has developed an easy-to-use clinical risk score that, if implemented in these settings, might help clinicians identify patients at high risk for TB and thereby start treatment for those patients on the same day. This study will investigate the effectiveness and implementation of this score in four peri-urban clinics in Uganda, providing critical pragmatic data to inform (or halt) the design of a definitive large-scale cluster randomized trial.


Clinical Trial Description

An estimated 1.5 million people die of tuberculosis (TB) every year. Many of these are people who seek care in under-resourced clinics (for example, in rural areas or informal settlements) where same-day TB diagnosis is not available. These patients are often unable to return promptly to receive their results and start treatment, resulting in ongoing disease transmission and often death. If TB treatment could be started on the same day as these patients initially seek care, substantial mortality and transmission could be averted. The research team has developed and validated a clinical risk score ("PredicTB") for adult pulmonary TB that could aid in clinical decision-making. This risk score ranges from 1-10, can be calculated by hand in under a minute using readily available clinical data (e.g., age, sex, self-reported HIV status), and has sufficiently high accuracy to inform decisions about same-day empiric treatment initiation while confirmatory test results are pending. Same-day treatment initiation improves patient outcomes for other infectious diseases (for example, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV), and this novel clinical risk score holds similar promise for TB, the leading cause of infectious mortality worldwide. However, before conducting a large-scale cluster randomized trial to evaluate whether this score could improve patient-important outcomes, it is critical to first generate evidence that this score could be effective and be implemented in the most-resource-limited settings for which it is intended. The research team proposes a type 2 hybrid effectiveness-implementation evaluation of the PredicTB clinical risk score in four peri-urban clinics in Uganda, with an additional four clinics serving as a comparison group. The Specific Aims are to evaluate the effectiveness of PredicTB on clinical outcomes including rapid treatment initiation, TB mortality, and loss to care (Aim 1); to evaluate the implementation of PredicTB in terms of reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance (Aim 2); and the project the long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of PredicTB implementation (Aim 3). The primary outcome is the increase in the proportion of patients with microbiologically confirmed TB who start treatment within seven days of initial presentation. To accomplish these aims, the research team will adopt a highly pragmatic study design in which the research team train clinicians in the use of the PredicTB score and perform quarterly site visits but otherwise minimize contact between study staff and treating clinicians. This will enable the research team to evaluate whether implementation of PredicTB is likely to impact clinical decision-making and patient outcomes under actual field settings. If successful, this evaluation will provide critical data to justify (or halt) the conduct of a large-scale pragmatic clinical trial - not only will it generate preliminary evidence of effectiveness, but it will also inform appropriate implementation. Patients in highly resource-constrained settings are at the greatest risk of suffering the ill effects of TB disease, including long-term morbidity and death. This study represents an important first step toward improving clinical management for these marginalized patients and thus toward reaching global targets for ending the TB epidemic. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05122624
Study type Interventional
Source Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Contact David W Dowdy, MD/PHD
Phone 4439971895
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date November 2021
Completion date March 2023

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