Nursing Guide for Managing Side Effects to Drug-resistant TB Treatment is a collaborative project between the Curry International Tuberculosis Center (CITC) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The guide was developed by nurses with experience in the clinical care and programmatic management of tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in both high- and low-resource settings.
Patients on treatment for DR-TB face many challenges, most notably difficult side effects such as nausea, hearing loss, and fatigue. These side effects impact the patient’s quality of life, capacity to work, and ability to continue activities of daily living. Medication side effects have been cited as a major factor linked to patients stopping treatment.
The guide’s authors reviewed nursing and DR-TB literature to establish best practice nursing assessment and intervention guidance. More than 200 nurses who care for patients with DR-TB in 11 countries field tested the guide; their valuable feedback informed the final content and format of the guide.
The guide is designed as a reference and job aid, so nurses can quickly:
- Identify symptoms that may indicate a side effect related to DR-TB treatment or antiretroviral medication;
- Assess for severity as well as other potential contributors; and
- Intervene appropriately in order to minimize patient discomfort, reduce side effect progression, and ultimately support successful treatment completion.