Background: Low treatment completion rate in tuberculosis (TB) patients is a major concern. Physicians have always been striving for better treatment adherence in such patients. The present study is one such attempt in this direction. Objectives: The study was aimed to evaluate the role of behavior modification by psychotherapy in improving compliance with short-course anti-TB chemotherapy in India. Methods: It was a prospective controlled trial involving patients with confirmed pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB enrolled in the National Tuberculosis Program. The intervention group underwent pretreatment psychological assessment followed by regular psychotherapy sessions. Results: The intervention group had a demographic profile comparable to that of the control group. The patients were mostly from low- and middle-income backgrounds from urban and semi-urban areas. They consistently showed poor knowledge about the nature of the disease, low motivation, and had considerable apprehensions. Following the sessions, the intervention group showed improved compliance compared with the control group, reflected in significantly higher treatment completion and cure rates. Conclusions: The study suggests that psychological intervention is effective in improving compliance with anti-TB treatment, and may reduce the incidence of treatment failure, relapse and drug resistance.

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