Community-based follow-up for late patients enrolled in a district-wide programme for antiretroviral therapy in Lusaka, Zambia

Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
AIDS Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 03/2008; 20(3):311-7. DOI: 10.1080/09540120701594776
Source: PubMed


Timely adherence to clinical and pharmacy appointments is well correlated with favourable patient outcomes among HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy. To date, however, there is little work exploring reasons behind missed visits or evaluating programmatic strategies to recall patients. For this study we implemented community-based follow-up of late patients as part of a large-scale programme for HIV care and treatment in Lusaka, Zambia. Through a network of local home-based care organizations, we attempted home visits to recall patients using locator information provided at time of enrolment. Between May and September 2005, home-based caregivers were dispatched to trace 1,343 patients with missed appointments. Of these, 554 (41%) were untraceable because the provided address was invalid, the patient had moved or no one was at the home. Of the remaining 789, 359 (46%) were reported to have died. Only 430 (54% of those traced, 32% overall) were contacted directly and encouraged to return for care. The likelihood of patient return was higher among traced patients in crude analysis (relative risk [RR] = 2.5; 95%CI = 1.9-3.2) and in multivariable analysis controlling for baseline body mass index, sex and CD4 + count < or = 50/microL (adjusted RR = 2.3; 95%CI = 1.7-3.2). However, the process was inefficient: one late patient returned for every 18 home visits that were made. Reasons for missed visits were provided in 271 of 430 (63%) of the patients who were successfully traced. Common reasons included feeling too sick to come to the clinic, travelling away from home and being too busy. Despite the availability of free ART in Lusaka, patients face significant barriers to attending scheduled clinical visits. Cost-effective and feasible strategies are urgently needed to improve timely patient follow-up.

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    • "The percentage of patients classified as LTFU for tracing purposes ranged from 2.7% (Maskew et al. 2007) to 55.4% (Alamo et al. 2012b). Most tracing studies attempted to trace all LTFU patients, with 3 studies tracing a random sample of patients, two studies tracing a non-random sample (Krebs et al. 2008; Omotoso 2011) and 1 study only reporting on the number of patients traced (Mben et al. 2012). There was an extensive variability in LTFU definitions applied for the purposes of determining the study cohort for tracing. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To ascertain estimates of adult patients, recorded as lost to follow-up (LTFU) within antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes, who have self-transferred care, died or truly stopped ART in low- and middle-income countries.Methods PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Science Direct, LILACS, IndMed and AIM databases (2003-2013) and IAS/AIDS conference abstracts (2011-2013) were searched for tracing studies reporting the proportion of traced patients found to have self-transferred, died or stopped ART. These estimates were then combined using random-effects meta-analysis. Risk of bias was assessed through subgroup and sensitivity analyses.Results28 studies were eligible for inclusion, reporting true outcomes for 10,806 traced patients attending approximately 258 ART facilities. None were from outside sub-Saharan Africa. 23 studies reported 4.5-54.4% traced LTFU patients self-transferring care, providing a pooled estimate of 18.6% (95% CI 15.8-22.0%). A significant positive association was found between rates of self-transfer and LTFU in the ART cohort. The pooled estimates for unreported deaths was 38.8% (95% CI 30.8-46.8%; 27 studies), and 28.6% (95% CI 21.9-36.0%; 20 studies) for patients stopping ART. A significant decrease in unreported deaths from 50.0% (95% CI 41.5-58.4%) to 30.0% (95% CI 21.1-38.9%) was found comparing study periods before and after 31/12/2007.Conclusions Substantial unaccounted for transfers and deaths among patients LTFU confirms that retention and mortality is underestimated where the true outcomes of LTFU patients are not ascertained.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Tropical Medicine & International Health 11/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.1111/tmi.12434 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    • "While the number of patients with cell phones is growing (by 2008, approximately 15% of Malawians were reportedly using cell phones), many patients, particularly those in remote settings, continue to be without working phones [44]. Importantly, while a working phone number is one of the strongest predictors of successfully finding patients [41,45] many still do not return to care [40,42,46,47]. With enhanced training on ART counselling, HSAs may be better equipped to encourage the patients they trace to return to care. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Retention in antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes remains a challenge in many settings including Malawi, in part due to high numbers of losses to follow-up. Concept Mapping (CM), a mix-method participatory approach, was used to explore why patients on ART are lost to follow-up (LTFU) by identifying: 1) factors that influence patient losses to follow-up and 2) barriers to effective and efficient tracing in Zomba, Malawi. Methods CM sessions (brainstorming, sorting and rating, interpretation) were conducted in urban and rural settings in Zomba, Malawi. Participants included ART patients, ART providers, Health Surveillance Assistants, and health managers from the Zomba District Health Office. In brainstorming, participants generated statements in response to “A specific reason why an individual on ART becomes lost to follow-up is…” Participants then sorted and rated the consolidated list of brainstormed items. Analysis included inductive qualitative methods for grouping of data and quantitative cluster identification to produce visual maps which were then interpreted by participants. Results In total, 90 individuals brainstormed 371 statements, 64 consolidated statements were sorted (participant n = 46), and rated on importance and feasibility (participant n = 69). A nine-cluster concept map was generated and included both patient- and healthcare-related clusters such as: Stigma and Fears, Beliefs, Acceptance and Knowledge of ART, Access to ART, Poor Documentation, Social and Financial Support Issues, Health Worker Attitudes, Resources Needed for Effective Tracing, and Health Worker Issues Related to Tracing. Strategies to respond to the clusters were generated in Interpretation. Conclusions Multiple patient- and healthcare focused factors influence why patients become LTFU. Findings have implications particularly for programs with limited resources struggling with the retention of ART patients.
    BMC Health Services Research 06/2013; 13(1):210. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-13-210 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    • "If a participant missed a study visit and could not be reached by mobile phone, community outreach teams attempted to locate the patient using housing locator forms completed at enrollment [23]. If the participant could not be located or credible information on vital status could not be obtained from relatives or the community, the participant was classified as lost to follow-up. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Low body mass index (BMI) at antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation is associated with early mortality, but the etiology is not well understood. We hypothesized that low pretreatment serum phosphate, a critical cellular metabolism intermediate primarily stored in skeletal muscle, may predict mortality within the first 12 weeks of ART. Methods. We prospectively studied 352 HIV-infected adults initiating ART in Lusaka, Zambia to estimate the odds of death for each 0.1 mmol/L decrease in baseline phosphate after adjusting for established predictors of mortality. Results. The distribution of phosphate values was similar across BMI categories (median value 1.2 mmol/L). Among the 145 participants with BMI <18.5 kg/m(2), 28 (19%) died within 12 weeks. Lower pretreatment serum phosphate was associated with increased mortality (odds ratio (OR) 1.24 per 0.1 mmol/L decrement, 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.47; P = 0.01) after adjusting for sex, age, and CD4(+) lymphocyte count. A similar relationship was not observed among participants with BMI ≥18.5 kg/m(2) (OR 0.96, 95% CI: 0.76 to 1.21; P = 0.74). Conclusions. The association of low pretreatment serum phosphate level and early ART mortality among undernourished individuals may represent a variant of the refeeding syndrome. Further studies of cellular metabolism in this population are needed.
    Journal of nutrition and metabolism 04/2013; 2013(4):545439. DOI:10.1155/2013/545439
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