Background: Treating latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is an important public health intervention. In the UK, LTBI treatment is delivered in secondary care. Treating LTBI in the community would move care closer to home and could increase uptake and treatment completion rates. However, healthcare providers' views about the feasibility of this in the UK are unknown. This is the first study to investigate perceived barriers and enablers to primary care-based LTBI treatment among UK general practitioners (GPs). Methods: A national survey amongst 140 randomly sampled UK GPs practising in areas of high TB incidence was performed. GPs' experience and perceived confidence, barriers and enablers of primary care-based LTBI treatment were explored and multivariable logistic regression was used to determine whether these were associated with a GP's willingness to deliver LTBI treatment. Results: One hundred and twelve (80 %) GPs responded. Ninety-three (83 %; 95 % CI 75 %-89 %) GPs said they would be willing to deliver LTBI treatment in primary care, if key perceived barriers were addressed during service development. The major perceived barriers to delivering primary care-based LTBI treatment were insufficient experience among GPs of screening and treating LTBI, lack of timely specialist support and lack of allied healthcare staff. In addition, GPs felt that appropriate resourcing was key to the successful and sustainable delivery of the service. GPs who reported previous experience of screening or treatment of patients with active or latent TB were almost ten times more likely to be willing to deliver LTBI treatment in primary care compared to GPs with no experience (OR: 9.98; 95 % CI 1.22-81.51). Conclusions: UK GPs support primary care-based LTBI treatment, provided they are given appropriate training, specialist support, staffing and financing.
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© 2015 Atchison et al.