Existing studies of the quality of tuberculosis care have relied on recall-based patient surveys, questionnaire surveys of knowledge, and prescription or medical record analysis, and the results mostly show the health-care provider’s knowledge rather than actual practice. No study has used standardized patients to assess clinical practice. This study, co-authored by ACCESS Health’s Sofi Bergkvist, assesses quality of care for tuberculosis using such patients.

The authors did a pilot, cross-sectional validation study of a convenience sample of consenting private healthcare providers in low income and middle income areas of Delhi, India. The study found that standardized patients can be successfully implemented to assess tuberculosis care. The data suggest a big gap between private provider knowledge and practice and highlights the need to understand the “know-do” gap in provider behavior, and to identify the best approach to measure and improve the quality of tuberculosis care in India.