Designing a mobile phone-based intervention to promote adherence to antiretroviral therapy in South India.
ABSTRACT Integration of mobile phone technology into HIV care holds potential, particularly in resource-constrained settings. Clinic attendees in urban and rural South India were surveyed to ascertain usage of mobile phones and perceptions of their use as an adherence aid. Mobile phone ownership was high at 73%; 26% reported shared ownership. A high proportion (66%) reported using phones to call their healthcare provider. There was interest in weekly telephonic automated voice reminders to facilitate adherence. Loss of privacy was not considered a deterrent. The study presents important considerations in the design of a mobile phone-based adherence intervention in India.
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ABSTRACT: Background. Suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is still pervasive. The effect of using a mobile phone call intervention to improve patient adherence is currently not known. Objective. This study aims to investigate the effects of a phone call intervention on adherence to ART and quality of life (QOL) of treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients. Methods. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in the three largest public hospitals. Adherence was measured by self-completed questionnaires. QOL was assessed by the WHOQOL-HIV BREF. Outcomes were assessed at day 15, at 1, 2, and 3 months after start of treatment for treatment-naive patients and at 3 months after study enrollment for treatment-experienced patients. Results. A total of 103 treatment-naive and 93 treatment-experienced HIV/AIDS patients were consecutively recruited. Results show that a phone call intervention could maintain high self-reported adherence among both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients. After three months, significant QOL improvements were observed in domains of physical health (P = 0.003), level of independence (P = 0.018), environment (P = 0.002), and spirituality/religion/personal beliefs (P = 0.021) among treatment-naive patients. Conclusion. A mobile phone call intervention to patients could maintain high adherence rates although no statistically significant differences were found. A phone call could improve some domains of QOL among treatment-naive patients.AIDS research and treatment 01/2013; 2013:580974. DOI:10.1155/2013/580974
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ABSTRACT: The technology that has been able to straddle the digital divide most effectively in resource-constrained settings has been the mobile phone. The tremendous growth seen in Africa and Asia in mobile phone use over the last half decade has spurred plans to integrate mobile phones with healthcare delivery globally. A major challenge in HIV healthcare is sustaining good adherence to antiretroviral treatment. This report focuses on specific applications of mobile phones in the area of HIV healthcare delivery. It highlights the widespread use of mobile phones in developing areas of the world, those which have a heavy burden of HIV and infectious diseases. There is scope for exploiting existing mobile phone technology and infrastructure for healthcare enhancement in resource-constrained settings.Tropical Medicine & International Health 02/2011; 16(2):214-6. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02678.x · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Poor adherence to antiretroviral treatment has been a public health challenge associated with the treatment of HIV. Although different adherence-supporting interventions have been reported, their long term feasibility in low income settings remains uncertain. Thus, there is a need to explore sustainable contextual adherence aids in such settings, and to test these using rigorous scientific designs. The current ubiquity of mobile phones in many resource-constrained settings, make it a contextually appropriate and relatively low cost means of supporting adherence. In India, mobile phones have wide usage and acceptability and are potentially feasible tools for enhancing adherence to medications. This paper presents the study protocol for a trial, to evaluate the influence of mobile phone reminders on adherence to first-line antiretroviral treatment in South India. 600 treatment naïve patients eligible for first-line treatment as per the national antiretroviral treatment guidelines will be recruited into the trial at two clinics in South India. Patients will be randomized into control and intervention arms. The control arm will receive the standard of care; the intervention arm will receive the standard of care plus mobile phone reminders. Each reminder will take the form of an automated call and a picture message. Reminders will be delivered once a week, at a time chosen by the patient. Patients will be followed up for 24 months or till the primary outcome i.e. virological failure, is reached, whichever is earlier. Self-reported adherence is a secondary outcome. Analysis is by intention-to-treat. A cost-effectiveness study of the intervention will also be carried out. Stepping up telecommunications technology in resource-limited healthcare settings is a priority of the World Health Organization. The trial will evaluate if the use of mobile phone reminders can influence adherence to first-line antiretrovirals in an Indian context.BMC Medical Research Methodology 03/2010; 10:25. DOI:10.1186/1471-2288-10-25 · 2.17 Impact Factor