Author

Ryan Schwarz

Date of Award

January 2011

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

Department

Medicine

First Advisor

Rick Altice

Subject Area(s)

Medicine, Health care management

Abstract

Background: Buprenorphine's availability in primary care settings offers increased access to treatment and linkage to primary care for opioid-dependent patients. Currently, tuberculin skin testing (TST) is recommended for patients enrolling in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), but not for those enrolling in buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT).

Objectives: To compare TST screening results in enrollees in BMT and MMT programs and assess the correlates of TST positivity among these subjects.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of a retrospective cohort study was conducted to compare concurrent TST results among contemporaneously matched groups of MMT and BMT patients in the same community.

Results: TST positivity was 9% in both MMT and BMT settings (p = .27). Increased TST positivity was associated with being Black (AOR = 3.53, CI = 1.28-9.77), Hispanic (AOR = 3.11, CI = 1.12-8.60), and having higher education (AOR= 3.01, CI = 1.20-7.53).

Conclusions: These results confirm a similarly high prevalence of TST positivity in opioid-dependent patients enrolling in MMT and BMT programs. Racial and ethnic health disparities remain associated with TST positivity, yet a relationship between higher education and tuberculosis requires further investigation.

Scientific significance: These data suggest the importance of incorporating TST screening in emerging BMT programs as a mechanism to provide increased detection and treatment of tuberculosis infection in opioid-dependent patient populations.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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