Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Fatima Wurie


Fatima Wurie picture

My PhD Title: Studies to inform the development and practical rollout of a digital adherence intervention, Video-Observed Therapy (VOT)Supervisor: Prof Andrew Hayward (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care) and Prof Rob Horne (UCL School of Pharmacy)

Lay summaryPoor adherence to tuberculosis (TB) treatment is the primary reason for sub-optimal clinical benefit and leads to poorer clinical outcomes, the development of drug resistance, increased duration of infectivity and consequent onward transmission of infection. To address this in the early 1990s WHO introduced DOTS (directly-observed therapy, short-course) as the international standard for TB control. In the UK, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends DOT for groups whose socially complex circumstances may impede them from adhering to treatment. But there is mixed evidence on its effectiveness as a patient support intervention in achieving microbiological cure, reducing drug resistance, transmission and relapse. In addition, it is perceived as inconvenient, costly and stigmatising for patients.  Innovations in information and communication technology have heralded the arrival of Video Observed Therapy (VOT) and much of this thesis focuses on understanding this new technology given successful trial results in supporting TB treatment adherence in London when compared to DOT (Story et al; 2019 The Lancet). As we move to implement this technology in the UK and elsewhere, there is a need to better understand the patient experience of using VOT compared to traditional DOT and we need to understand which groups are likely to benefit and are in most need of support and are likely to benefit in real world settings. This will guide decisions on its nationwide rollout to support delivery of TB programmes and services. Aim: My PhD study aims to improve understanding of patient groups who may benefit most from digital adherence technologies (DATs). I will use a variety of methods from different angles to inform public health decision-making and healthcare planning to understand people’s experiences of VOT in the UK and different settings to draw conclusions on how VOT may be optimally used and inform its practical rollout. 

My Background

After completing a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences at the University or Durham (2002-2006), Ms Wurie completed public health and health policy training as part of a Diploma in Health Planning and Management at Birkbeck (2008). In 2013-14 Ms Wurie completed an MSc in Public Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and holds an APMP associate-level qualification in project management.


BSc 9Hons)




“Virtually Observed Treatment to support treatment adherence in patients with tuberculosis in the Republic of Moldova” Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Small Grant award - £5,000, April 2016




Ms Wurie’s career has spanned laboratory science at Great Ormond Street Hospital, quality improvement in stroke services at The Royal College of Physicians – London and leading and supporting the coordination of a range of infection-related applied research projects and studies evaluating services and interventions for inclusion health groups in England from 2009 at UCL. 

Alongside her part-time PhD, Ms Wurie has worked as a Research Associate supporting development of scoping reviews for an NIHR-commissioned project on developing a manualised intervention to support tuberculosis (TB) treatment adherence whilst at the UCL School of Pharmacy. As a Senior Scientist at Public Health England for the UCL-led E-DETECT TB project, she led the development of a TB Strategy Toolkit to support the development of TB Action Plans and TB Strategies for EU and EEA Member States drawing on systematic reviews evidence and expert consensus. 

Contact details 

Twitter @WurieFatima