Objective To investigate the effectiveness of a complex behavioural intervention, ProLife, on tuberculosis (TB) treatment success, medication adherence, alcohol use and tobacco smoking. Design Multicentre, individual, randomised controlled trial where participants were assigned (1:1) to the ProLife intervention or usual care. Setting 27 primary care clinics in South Africa. Participants 574 adults starting treatment for drug-sensitive pulmonary TB who smoked tobacco or reported harmful/hazardous alcohol use. Interventions The intervention, delivered by lay health workers (LHWs), consisted of three brief motivational interviewing (MI) sessions, augmented with short message service (SMS) messages, targeting medication adherence, alcohol use and tobacco smoking. Outcome measures The primary outcome was successful versus unsuccessful TB treatment at 6-9 months, from TB records. Secondary outcomes were biochemically confirmed sustained smoking cessation, reduction in the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) score, improved TB and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and ART initiation, each measured at 3 and 6 months by questionnaires; and cure rates in patients who had bacteriology-confirmed TB at baseline, from TB records. Results Between 15 November 2018 and 31 August 2019, 574 participants were randomised to receive either the intervention (n=283) or usual care (n=291). TB treatment success rates did not differ significantly between intervention (67.8%) and control (70.1%; OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.64% to 1.27%). There was no evidence of an effect at 3 and 6 months, respectively, on continuous smoking abstinence (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.37 to 1.14; OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.63), TB medication adherence (OR 1.22, 95% CI 0.52 to 2.87; OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.26 to 3.07), taking ART (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.65; OR 2.05, 95% CI 0.80 to 5.27) or AUDIT scores (mean score difference 0.55, 95% CI -1.01 to 2.11; -0.04, 95% CI -2.0 to 1.91) and adjusting for baseline values. Cure rates were not significantly higher (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.63). Conclusions Simultaneous targeting of multiple health risk behaviours with MI and SMS using LHWs may not be an effective approach to improve TB outcomes. Trial registration number ISRCTN62728852.
- HIV & AIDS
- health economics
- organisation of health services
- public health
- substance misuse