Objective To determine of the spatial distributions of tuberculosis (TB) and effect of patient distance from the health center on default or interrupted therapeutic outcomes in Urmia, Iran, during 2004–2009.
Material and Methods In this cross sectional study we used the data of 452 new TB cases, which have been recorded by TB management center in Urmia, capital of West Azerbaijan province, during a five-year period. In order to identifying the significant geographical clusters, we used the “Average Nearest Neighbour” method. Linear regression method was used to determine linear correlation between patients distance and number of default and interrupted therapeutic outcomes.
Results Five countryside areas had significantly spatial clusters of TB (p<0.0001). As the distance of patient from TB health center are increased, the number of the default and interrupted cases were also increased (r2=0.25, p=0.04). In comparison with the number of default and interrupted cases and the mean distances of TB health center, wherever mean distance was more than 1 Km, number of default and interrupted cases were more than 3 (p=0.02).
Conclusion Spatial distributions of tuberculosis disease in Urmia are not randomly and suburban areas need more serious attentions by policy makers and health planners. According to the health system in Iran, health posts has not actively role in treatment of TB patients at urban settings. As a result, if the health posts are contributed to in the TB treatment programs, the patient distance from the treating health centers will decreased and subsequently the positive therapeutic outcomes will grow.
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