Introduction Treatment for tuberculosis (TB) is highly effective if taken according to prescribed schedules. However, many people have difficulty adhering to treatment which can lead to poorer clinical outcomes, the development of drug resistance, increased duration of infectivity and consequent onward transmission of infection. A range of approaches are available to support adherence but in order to target these effectively a better understanding of the predictors of poor adherence is needed. This review aims to highlight the personal, sociocultural and structural factors that may lead to poor adherence in high-income and middle-income settings. Methods and analysis Seven electronic databases, Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycInfo, The Cochrane Library, Scopus and Web of Science, will be searched for relevant articles using a prespecified search strategy. Observational studies will be targeted to explore factors that influence adherence to treatment in individuals diagnosed with TB. Screening title and abstract followed by full-text screening and critical appraisal will be conducted by two researchers. Data will be extracted using the Population, Exposure, Comparator, Outcomes, Study characteristics framework. For cross-study assessment of strength of evidence for particular risk factors affecting adherence we will use the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation tool modified for prognostic studies. A narrative synthesis of the studies will be compiled. A meta-analysis will be considered if there are sufficient numbers of studies that are homogenous in study design, population and outcomes. Dissemination A draft conceptual framework will be identified that (A) identifies key barriers to adherence at each contextual level (eg, personal, sociocultural, health systems) and (B) maps the relationships, pathways and mechanisms of effect between these factors and adherence outcomes for people with TB. The draft conceptual framework will guide targeting of adherence interventions and further research. PROSPERO registration number CRD42017061049.
- systematic review
- treatment adherence