Original Research

Post-tuberculosis health-related quality of life, lung function and exercise capacity in a cured pulmonary tuberculosis population in the Breede Valley District, South Africa

Kurt J. Daniels, Elvis Irusen, Hamilton Pharaoh, Susan Hanekom
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 75, No 1 | a1319 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v75i1.1319 | © 2019 Kurt J. Daniels, Elvis Irusen, Hamilton Pharaoh, Susan Hanekom | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2018 | Published: 31 July 2019

About the author(s)

Kurt J. Daniels, Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Elvis Irusen, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Hamilton Pharaoh, Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Susan Hanekom, Division of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) remains a major concern worldwide. Albeit curable, PTB continues to negatively affect patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and functioning even after cure.

Objectives: To describe the demographics, respiratory symptoms, pulmonary airflow patterns, HRQoL and exercise capacity of cured PTB patients, in the Breede Valley district of South Africa.

Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted at five primary health care facilities included adult patients diagnosed with PTB, who had completed anti-tuberculosis treatment. Post-treatment bronchodilator lung function, HRQoL and 6-min walk distance (6MWD) were measured.

Results: Three hundred and twenty-four patients were screened. Specific challenges resulted in 45 patients being included (male n = 25 [56%]; mean population age 39.9 [± 10.2]). HRQoL was assessed using the short-form 12v2, part of the burden of lung disease core questionnaire. In general, self-reported physical scores (physical health component summary score = 45) were higher than mental scores (mental health component summary score = 39). The mean 6MWD was 294.5 m (± 122.7) m (range 110 m – 600 m), which is well below normal reference values. Forty-eight percent (48%) of the sample presented with abnormal lung function, including obstructive (n = 9; 21%), restrictive (n = 11; 25%) and mixed (n = 1; 2%).

Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that most cured PTB patients have decreased HRQoL, exercise capacity and abnormal lung function. This study is the first to describe the combination of these three outcomes in a South African population.

Clinical implications: Clinicians must recognise that holistic management of PTB patients is required after cure.


Keywords

Pulmonary Tuberculosis; Lung Function; Health-Related Quality of Life; Exercise Capacity; Rural Health

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