A Cluster-randomised Trial of Interventions to Improve Antimalarial Prescribing With Malaria Tests (TACT)

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania
Ministry of Health, Tanzania
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01292707
First received: January 28, 2011
Last updated: June 15, 2012
Last verified: June 2012
  Purpose

Background.

Overdiagnosis of malaria is widespread in health facilities throughout Africa, a situation that is unsustainable given the relatively high cost of artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs) compared to older antimalarials. In addition it often denies patients treatment for their actual illness and generates unreliable data for health planners. For these reasons the National Malaria Control Programme introduced revised guidelines for malaria diagnosis and treatment in 2006 restricting the recommendation for antimalarial treatment in patients over the age of 5 years to those with a positive blood slide or malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) result. To support this, RDTs will be introduced into primary care health facilities in Tanzania starting in 2009.

The high accuracy of current rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) provides the potential for a cost-effective solution to the problem of malaria overdiagnosis. However, RDTs with revised guidelines to restrict malaria diagnoses to RDT-positive patients have been unsuccessful unless accompanied by unsustainable levels of supervision and training.

Primary objective.

To conduct a trial of interventions directed at prescribers or prescribers and communities compared to control groups to improve adherence to national guidelines for prescription of antimalarial treatment when supported by RDTs in primary health care facilities in NE Tanzania.

Methods

All 60 participating health facilities will receive RDTs and basic training in their use and a copy of current NMCP/MOH guidelines for each prescribing staff member. A health worker intervention arm will, in addition, receive workplace-based interactive training and messages from senior staff A health worker-community arm will receive the same training as the health worker arm and in addition leaflets will be provided to RDT-tested patients providing information on the test and the treatment given. All training materials will be approved by NMCP in Tanzania as being consistent with current national guidelines but with the addition that prescribers will be asked to follow RDT results in prescribing for patients of any age This policy is in line with the most recent revision to WHO guidelines and is supported by NMCP in Tanzania.

Study outcomes will be recorded through a 40% (2 days per week) exit survey of patients. Anthropological and economics studies will assess the costs and acceptability of interventions.


Condition Intervention
Malaria
Behavioral: Control
Behavioral: HW
Behavioral: HWC

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: A Cluster-randomised Trial of Health Worker and Community Interventions to Improve Adherence to National Guidelines for the Use of ACTs in Tanzania

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The proportion of patients with a non-severe non-malarial illness prescribed a recommended antimalarial drug in a new consultation. [ Time Frame: 1year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 1152
Study Start Date: February 2011
Study Completion Date: April 2012
Primary Completion Date: February 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Control
Prescribing staff in control facilities will receive the standard package of RDT training that is being provided by NMCP in Tanzania
Behavioral: Control
Standard national training
Active Comparator: HW
Prescribing staff in the intervention facilities will receive the same package of nationally-approved training in RDT use as will be provided to prescribers in control facilities. Following this, prescribers in the intervention facilities will be invited to participate in 3 small group training modules delivered in an interactive style lasting approximately 11/2 hours, with one session repeated between the 6th and 7th month of the trial.
Behavioral: HW
Prescribing staff in the intervention facilities will receive the same package of nationally-approved training in RDT use as will be provided to prescribers in control facilities. Following this, prescribers in the intervention facilities will be invited to participate in 3 small group training modules delivered in an interactive style lasting approximately 11/2 hours, with one session repeated between the 6th and 7th month of the trial
Active Comparator: HWC
The health worker-community arm will receive the same intervention as the health workers arm but with the addition of an intervention aimed at patients. This will consist of community sensitisation, clinic posters and providing a leaflet to each RDT-tested patient or caretaker giving details of the test and the corresponding treatment provided.
Behavioral: HWC
The health worker-community arm will receive the same intervention as the health workers arm but with the addition of an intervention aimed at patients. This will consist of community sensitisation, clinic posters and providing a leaflet to each RDT-tested patient or caretaker giving details of the test and the corresponding treatment provided.

  Eligibility

Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Health Facility Inclusion criteria:

  • Located in lowland Muheza, adjoining wards of Handeni, or any area of Moshi Rural Districts
  • Health facilities that are registered with the District Health Authority
  • Receives Government supplies of ALu and qualifies for RDT supply
  • Agrees to exclusive use of RDT for routine diagnosis of first consultations for possible malaria
  • Accessible by 4-wd vehicle throughout the year.
  • Availability of data on proportion of consultations diagnosed with malaria in 2008 (or earliest available year)

Health Facility Exclusion:

  • Presence of other research in the immediate area where study procedures could bias outcomes in either study.
  • Fewer than 500 cases per year were reported in 2005 or 2006.

Patient Inclusion:

  • All patients with non-severe illness in first consultations.
  • Patient Exclusion
  • Patients who have been referred to the next level of care
  • Patient refuses consent to exit survey
  • Follow-up consultations
  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01292707

Locations
Tanzania
Joint Malaria Programme
Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Sponsors and Collaborators
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania
Ministry of Health, Tanzania
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Hugh Reyburn, MD London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01292707     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ACTc TACT
Study First Received: January 28, 2011
Last Updated: June 15, 2012
Health Authority: Tanzania: Ethical Committee

Keywords provided by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:
malaria
rdt
fever
treatment

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Malaria
Protozoan Infections
Parasitic Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on April 17, 2014