Retention in care among HIV-infected patients in resource-limited settings: emerging insights and new directions.
ABSTRACT In resource-limited settings--where a massive scale-up of HIV services has occurred in the last 5 years--both understanding the extent of and improving retention in care presents special challenges. First, retention in care within the decentralizing network of services is likely higher than existing estimates that account only for retention in clinic, and therefore antiretroviral therapy services may be more effective than currently believed. Second, both magnitude and determinants of patient retention vary substantially and therefore encouraging the conduct of locally relevant epidemiology is needed to inform programmatic decisions. Third, socio-structural factors such as program characteristics, transportation, poverty, work/child care responsibilities, and social relations are the major determinants of retention in care, and therefore interventions to improve retention in care should focus on implementation strategies. Research to assess and improve retention in care for HIV-infected patients can be strengthened by incorporating novel methods such as sampling-based approaches and a causal analytic framework.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Elvin H Geng, May 30, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Achieving equitable access to health care is an important policy goal, with access influenced by affordability, availability, and acceptability of specific services. We explore patient narratives from a 5-year program of research on health care access to examine relationships between social constructions of illness and the acceptability of health services in the context of tuberculosis treatment and antiretroviral therapy in South Africa. Acceptability of services seems particularly important to the meanings patients attach to illness and care, whereas-conversely-these constructions appear to influence what constitutes acceptability and hence affect access to care. We highlight the underestimated role of individually, socially, and politically constructed healthworlds; traditional and biomedical beliefs; and social support networks. Suggested policy implications for improving acceptability and hence overall health care access include abandoning patronizing approaches to care and refocusing from treating "disease" to responding to "illness" by acknowledging and incorporating patients' healthworlds in patient-provider interactions. © The Author(s) 2015.Qualitative Health Research 05/2015; 25(5):622-35. DOI:10.1177/1049732315575315 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: System dynamics (SD) modeling belongs to the rapidly evolving, interdisciplinary field of system science research. This field adds value to more traditional health research by contributing to the design and testing of complex integrated models of change, to examine health system performance and patient outcomes. Using selected milestones in HIV care management to frame our simulation research, we created a SD model to examine three patient subgroups of women of color (WOC) represented in our multi-site cohort, classified by their health care seeking status at baseline. Asked to reflect on their circumstance 6 months prior to enrollment in the MSE cohort, 53% noted they were receiving some care (In Care, n=341), 31% that they had been seeking care (Seeking Care, n=201), and 16% that they were undecided about seeking care (i.e., answered that they may or may not look for care) for treatment of their HIV (May or May Not Seek Care, n=103). Our SD model compared simulated patterns of patient retention over 24 months in relation to: (1) access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), (2) adherence to ART, and (3) viral suppression. Assessed patterns yielded insights about system capacities and constraints in the context of the SPNS initiative under evaluation.AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs 01/2015; 29(S1):S55-S63. DOI:10.1089/apc.2014.0276 · 3.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Academic Model Providing Access To Healthcare (AMPATH) program provides comprehensive HIV care and treatment services. Approximately 30% of patients have become lost to follow-up (LTFU). We sought to actively trace and identify outcomes for a sample of these patients. LTFU was defined as missing a scheduled visit by ≥ 3 months. A randomly selected sample of 17% of patients identified as LTFU between January 2009 and June 2011 was generated, with sample stratification on age, antiretroviral therapy (ART) status at last visit, and facility. Chart reviews were conducted followed by active tracing. Tracing was completed by trained HIV-positive outreach workers July 2011 to February 2012. Outcomes were compared between adults and children and by ART status. Of 14,811 LTFU patients, 2,540 were randomly selected for tracing (2,179 adults, 1,071 on ART). The chart reviews indicated that 326 (12.8%) patients were not actually LTFU. Outcomes for 71% of sampled patients were determined including 85% of those physically traced. Of those with known outcomes, 21% had died while 29% had disengaged from care for various reasons. The remaining patients had moved away (n=458, 25%) or were still receiving HIV care (n=443 total, 25%). Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of a large scale sampling-based approach. A significant proportion of patients were found not to be LTFU and further, high numbers of patients who were LTFU could not be located. Over a quarter of patients disengaged from care for various reasons including access challenges and familial influences.JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 12/2014; 68(4). DOI:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000492 · 4.39 Impact Factor