Community-based follow-up for late patients enrolled in a district-wide programme for antiretroviral therapy in Lusaka, Zambia.
ABSTRACT 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.
SourceAvailable from: Lynne Susan Wilkinson[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective:Guidelines for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV have developed rapidly, yet little is known about how outcomes of HIV-exposed infants have changed over time. We describe HIV-exposed infant outcomes in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, between 2007 and 2013.Design:Cohort study of mother-infant pairs enrolled in family-centered comprehensive HIV care.Methods:Accounting for competing risks, we estimated the cumulative incidences of early infant diagnosis, HIV transmission, death, loss to follow-up, and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) initiation for infants enrolled in three periods (2007-2008, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012).Results:1707 HIV-exposed infants enrolled at a median age of 2.6 weeks. Among infants whose mothers had recently enrolled into HIV care (N=1411), access to EID by age two months increased from 28% (95% confidence limits [CL]: 24,34%) among infants enrolled in 2007-2008 to 63% (95% CL: 59,68%) among infants enrolled in 2011-2012 (Gray's p-value <0.01). The 18-month cumulative incidence of HIV declined from 16% (95% CL: 11,22%) for infants enrolled in 2007-2008 to 11% (95% CL: 8,16%) for infants enrolled in 2011-2012 (Gray's p-value = 0.19). The 18-month cumulative incidence of death also declined, from 8% (95% CL: 5,12%) to 3% (95% CL: 2,5%) (Gray's p-value = 0.02). LTFU did not improve, with 18-month cumulative incidences of 19% (95% CL: 15,23%) for infants enrolled in 2007-2008 and 22% (95% CL: 18,26%) for infants enrolled in 2011-2012 (Gray's p-value = 0.06). Among HIV-infected infants, the 24-month cumulative incidence of cART increased from 61% (95% CL: 43,75%) to 97% (95% CL: 82,100%) (Gray's p-value <0.01); the median age at cART decreased from 17.9 to 9.3 months. Outcomes were better for infants whose mothers enrolled before pregnancy.Conclusions:We observed encouraging improvements, but continued efforts are needed.AIDS (London, England) 07/2014; 28 Suppl 3:S301-S311. DOI:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000331 · 6.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Difficulty obtaining reliable transportation to clinic is frequently cited as a barrier to HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Numerous studies have sought to characterize the impact of geographic and transportation-related barriers on HIV outcomes in SSA, but to date there has been no systematic attempt to summarize these findings. In this systematic review, we summarized this body of literature. We searched for studies conducted in SSA examining the following outcomes in the HIV care continuum: (1) voluntary counseling and testing, (2) pre-antiretroviral therapy (ART) linkage to care, (3) loss to follow-up and mortality, and (4) ART adherence and/or viral suppression. We identified 34 studies containing 52 unique estimates of association between a geographic or transportation-related barrier and an HIV outcome. There was an inverse effect in 23 estimates (44 %), a null association in 26 (50 %), and a paradoxical beneficial impact in 3 (6 %). We conclude that geographic and transportation-related barriers are associated with poor outcomes across the continuum of HIV care.AIDS and Behavior 02/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10461-014-0729-8 · 3.49 Impact Factor