Diversity of patient preparation activities before initiation of antiretroviral therapy in Cape Town, South Africa

Centre for Infectious Diseases Epidemiology & Research, School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
Tropical Medicine & International Health (Impact Factor: 2.33). 07/2012; 17(8):972-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2012.03033.x
Source: PubMed


To investigate patient education and counseling activities prior to the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) at public sector services across Cape Town, South Africa.
Key informant interviews and programme reviews were conducted with government bodies and non-governmental organisations involved in patient preparation activities.
All 11 organisations in Cape Town involved in training and managing personnel to prepare patients for ART during 2010 participated. Each organisation reported a different approach to patient preparation within public sector clinics and in each aspect of patient preparation activities. The number of patient education sessions ranged from 3 to 7, and the delays to ART initiation introduced by patient preparation ranged from 3 to 6 weeks. Different patient education materials (pamphlets, posters and flipcharts) were used by various programmes, and all programmes reported that shortages in materials meant that patient preparation often took place without any educational materials. Each programme also reported attention to mental illness and alcohol/substance use disorders, but none employed formal screening tools consistently, and the handling of patients with potential mental health- or substance-related problems varied.
Approaches to prepare patients before ART initiation are wide ranging in one part of South Africa. Their relative value requires investigation, as there is little evidence for the impact of varying approaches. Moreover, the risks associated with delayed ART initiation may outweigh any benefits of patient education before the start of treatment.

Download full-text


Available from: Rose Zulliger, Oct 02, 2015
28 Reads
  • Source
    • "In most settings, the systems for adult ART initiation are focused on the needs of the general adult population of non-pregnant women and men, as pregnant women comprise only a small fraction of new patients. [4,13] In the general population of non-pregnant adults, systemic delays in ART initiation are routinely used to allow time for patient education and psychosocial preparation before treatment [14], based on the idea that patient preparation before initiation may improve retention in care and treatment adherence over time [15-17], although evidence for this is lacking [18]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in eligible HIV-infected pregnant women is an important intervention to promote maternal and child health. Increasing the duration of ART received before delivery plays a major role in preventing vertical HIV transmission, but pregnant women across Africa experience significant delays in starting ART, partly due the perceived need to deliver ART counseling and patient education before ART initiation. We examined whether delaying ART to provide pre-ART counseling was associated with improved outcomes among HIV-infected women in Cape Town, South Africa. Methods We undertook a retrospective cohort study of 490 HIV-infected pregnant women referred to initiate treatment at an urban ART clinic. At this clinic all patients including pregnant women are screened by a clinician and then undergo three sessions of counseling and patient education prior to starting treatment, commonly introducing delays of 2–4 weeks before ART initiation. Data on viral suppression and retention in care after ART initiation were taken from routine clinic records. Results A total of 382 women initiated ART before delivery (78%); ART initiation before delivery was associated with earlier gestational age at presentation to the ART service (p < 0.001). The median delay between screening and ART initiation was 21 days (IQR, 14–29 days). Overall, 84.7%, 79.6% and 75.0% of women who were pregnant at the time of ART initiation were retained in care at 4, 8 and 12 months after ART initiation, respectively. Among those retained, 91% were virally suppressed at each follow-up visit. However the delay from screening to ART initiation was not associated with retention in care and/or viral suppression throughout the first year on ART in unadjusted or adjusted analyses. Conclusions A substantial proportion of eligible pregnant women referred for ART do not begin treatment before delivery in this setting. Among women who do initiate ART, delaying initiation for patient preparation is not associated with improved maternal outcomes. Given the need to maximize the duration of ART before delivery for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, there is an urgent need for new strategies to help expedite ART initiation in eligible pregnant women.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 09/2012; 12(1):94. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-12-94 · 2.19 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in pregnancy is an important intervention to prevent the mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and to promote maternal health. Early initiation of ART is particularly important to achieve viral suppression rapidly before delivery. However, current approaches to start ART in pregnancy may be problematic in many settings, with referrals between antenatal care (ANC) and ART services, and delays for patient preparation before ART initiation. These steps contribute to a sizable proportion of women failing to receive adequate duration of ART before delivery, increasing the risk of MTCT. To address these limitations, we developed the rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy (RAP) programme. The programme featured the use of point-of-care CD4 testing to identify ART-eligible women with CD4 cell counts ≤ 350 cells/µl; immediate ART initiation in women on the same day that eligibility was determined, if possible; and intensive counselling and support for ART initiation during the first few weeks on ART. We implemented RAP in an antenatal clinic setting in Cape Town South Africa. Between February and August 2011, a total of 221 HIV-infected women were referred to the programme for CD4 cell count testing and 101 (46%) were eligible for ART. Of these, 98 women (97%) started therapy during pregnancy, 89 (91%) on the day of referral to the service. In-depth interviews suggested that although there were substantial challenges facing HIV-infected women initiating ART in pregnancy, the availability of immediate services and counselling support played an important role in addressing these. While further research is needed, this evaluation demonstrates that a novel service delivery approach may facilitate rapid ART initiation in pregnancy.
    AIDS Care 04/2012; 24(8):986-92. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2012.668173 · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Timely initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) in eligible HIV-infected patients is associated with substantial reduction in mortality and morbidity. Nigeria has the second largest number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the world. We examined patient characteristics, time to ART initiation, retention, and mortality at 5 rural facilities in Kwara and Niger states of Nigeria. Methods: We analyzed program-level cohort data for HIV-infected ART-naive clients (≥15 years) enrolled from June 2009 to February 2011. We modeled the probability of ART initiation among clients meeting national ART eligibility criteria using logistic regression with splines. Results: We enrolled 1948 ART-naive adults/adolescents into care, of whom, 1174 were ART eligible (62% female). Only 74% of the eligible patients (n = 869) initiated ART within 90 days after enrollment. The median CD4 count for eligible clients was 156 cells/μL (interquartile range: 81-257), with 67% in WHO stage III/IV disease. Adjusting for CD4 count, WHO stage, functional status, hemoglobin, body mass index, sex, age, education, marital status, employment, clinic of attendance, and month of enrollment, we found that immunosuppression [CD4 350 vs. 200, odds ratio (OR) = 2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.31 to 3.35], functional status [bedridden vs. working, OR = 4.17 (95% CI: 1.63 to 10.67)], clinic of attendance [Kuta Hospital vs. referent: OR = 5.70 (95% CI: 2.99 to 10.89)], and date of enrollment [December 2010 vs. June 2009: OR = 2.13 (95% CI: 1.19 to 3.81)] were associated with delayed ART initiation. Conclusions: Delayed initiation of ART was associated with higher CD4 counts, lower functional status, clinic of attendance, and later dates of enrollment among ART-eligible clients. Our findings provide targets for quality improvement efforts that may help reduce attrition and improve ART uptake in similar settings.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 05/2013; 65(2). DOI:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31829ceaec · 4.56 Impact Factor
Show more