We are a global group of researchers, policy makers and clinicians. We are passionate about using an evidence-based approach to improve tuberculosis (TB) programmes and services.
Our goal is to improve the prevention, screening, and management of the most common chronic illnesses that affect people with TB.
TB is a chronic infectious disease. Every year, approximately 10 million people fall ill with TB and 1.5 million die from it. TB often coexists with other chronic diseases multimorbidity’) is common in TB. This is because these illnesses share similar risk factors or increase the risk of each other. Compared with having just one condition alone, coexisting conditions lead to worsening health, quality of life and survival.
Tackling chronic illnesses alongside TB
It makes sense for TB services to offer prevention and care for other coexisting chronic illnesses alongside treatment for TB. Traditionally, however, services have typically focused only on a single condition. And there is little research evidence to guide services that want to offer care for multiple conditions. We plan to generate new evidence on how best to manage the common chronic conditions that coexist with TB and in this way tackle TB multimorbidity, improving health and quality of life for people both during and after their successful TB treatment.
The TBMM project
To develop this new evidence, we will review published studies and re-analyse existing datasets to estimate how common the various co-existing illnesses are in TB. We will identify the combinations of conditions (clusters) that contribute the greatest burden in terms of shortening life expectancy, causing ill health and incurring healthcare costs in TB.
We will also identify interventions that are effective in preventing and treating these target conditions and might be feasible to integrate within existing TB services.
Another key aim is to build research capacity in TB multimorbidity research. We have a particular focus on early and mid-career researchers- developing future research leaders.
Our preliminary work will inform plans for a future research programme, in which we will test a package of interventions to prevent, detect and manage chronic conditions in people with TB in ‘real world’ settings.