Hospital admission policy for tuberculosis in pulmonary centres in Italy: A national survey

Sandra Nutini, F. Fiorentini, L. R. Codecasa, L. Casali, G. Besozzi, G. Di Pisa, S. Nardini, G. B. Migliori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SETTING: A national survey including 203 pulmonary centres (PCs) (144 hospital PCs with beds dedicated to TB patients and 59 out-patient PCs) managing tuberculosis cases in Italy during 1995. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate: 1) hospitalization practices (criteria for admission/discharge; duration of hospitalization) as primary end-points; and 2) as secondary endpoints the availability of beds, the preventive measures adopted to reduce the spread of infection, the sources of referral for hospitalization and the procedures adopted to follow up TB patients after discharge. DESIGN: A 26-point questionnaire mailed to 203 PCs. RESULTS: Of 167 PCs that responded to the questionnaire (82.3%), 159 questionnaires were considered valid for the analysis (110 from hospitals PCs and 49 from out-patient PCs). The criteria adopted by PCs to admit TB patients were: all TB cases 47%, only smear- positive pulmonary TB 14%, TB cases with clinical problems 39%. Hospital PCs hospitalized significantly more cases of smear-negative; extra-pulmonary TB. On average 71.6% of all cases were hospitalized (88.2% by hospital and 28% by out-patient PCs). The median hospital stay was 34 days for sputum smear- positive, 20 for sputum smear-negative and 21.5 for extra-pulmonary TB cases. Sputum conversion was considered the mandatory criterion to allow discharge from 61% of hospital PCs. CONCLUSION: A switch from the present policy (majority of cases hospitalized for a long period) to an outpatient oriented policy needs the co-ordinated educational effort of scientific societies and health authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-991
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


  • Hospital admission policy
  • Treatment
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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