Open Access Open Badges Research article

Interventions to improve delivery of isoniazid preventive therapy: an overview of systematic reviews

Lisa V Adams1*, Elizabeth A Talbot1, Karen Odato2, Heather Blunt2 and Karen R Steingart3

Author Affiliations

1 Infectious Disease and International Health Section, Department of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, 1 Rope Ferry Road, Hanover, NH 03755, USA

2 Biomedical Libraries, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, 37 Dewey Field Road, Hanover, NH 03755, USA

3 Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, Liverpool, UK

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:281  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-281

Published: 21 May 2014



Uptake of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) to prevent tuberculosis has been poor, particularly in the highest risk populations. Interventions to improve IPT delivery could promote implementation. The large number of existing systematic reviews on treatment adherence has made drawing conclusions a challenge. To provide decision makers with the evidence they need, we performed an overview of systematic reviews to compare different organizational interventions to improve IPT delivery as measured by treatment completion among those at highest risk for the development of TB disease, namely child contacts or HIV-infected individuals.


We searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), and MEDLINE up to August 15, 2012. Two authors used a standardized data extraction form and the AMSTAR instrument to independently assess each review.


Six reviews met inclusion criteria. Interventions included changes in the setting/site of IPT delivery, use of quality monitoring mechanisms (e.g., directly observed therapy), IPT delivery integration into other healthcare services, and use of lay health workers. Most reviews reported a combination of outcomes related to IPT adherence and treatment completion rate but without a baseline or comparison rate. Generally, we found limited evidence to demonstrate that the studied interventions improved treatment completion.


While most of the interventions were not shown to improve IPT completion, integration of tuberculosis and HIV services yielded high treatment completion rates in some settings. The lack of data from high burden TB settings limits applicability. Further research to assess different IPT delivery interventions, including those that address barriers to care in at-risk populations, is urgently needed to identify the most effective practices for IPT delivery and TB control in high TB burden settings.

Tuberculosis; HIV; Adherence; Latent tuberculosis infection