In resource-poor settings, mortality is at its highest during the first 3 months after combination antiretroviral treatment (cART) initiation. A clear predictor of mortality during this period is having a low CD4 count at the time of treatment initiation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect on survival and clinic retention of a nurse-based rapid assessment clinic for high-risk individuals initiating cART in a resource-constrained setting.
The USAID-AMPATH Partnership has enrolled more than 140,000 patients at 25 clinics throughout western Kenya. High Risk Express Care (HREC) provides weekly or bi-weekly rapid contacts with nurses for individuals initiating cART with CD4 counts of ≤100 cells/mm3. All HIV-infected individuals aged 14 years or older initiating cART with CD4 counts of ≤100 cells/mm3 were eligible for enrolment into HREC and for analysis. Adjusted hazard ratios (AHRs) control for potential confounding using propensity score methods.
Between March 2007 and March 2009, 4,958 patients initiated cART with CD4 counts of ≤100 cells/mm3. After adjusting for age, sex, CD4 count, use of cotrimoxazole, treatment for tuberculosis, travel time to clinic and type of clinic, individuals in HREC had reduced mortality (AHR: 0.59; 95% confidence interval: 0.45-0.77), and reduced loss to follow up (AHR: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.55-0.70) compared with individuals in routine care. Overall, patients in HREC were much more likely to be alive and in care after a median of nearly 11 months of follow up (AHR: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.57-0.67).
Frequent monitoring by dedicated nurses in the early months of cART can significantly reduce mortality and loss to follow up among high-risk patients initiating treatment in resource-constrained settings.
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"The finding that there were some patients who were Always On Time that had been traced highlights potential opportunities for improvement in targeting of tracing. Patients who recently initiated ART and/or those with poor clinical status represent an important group for prioritization . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background
Identifying follow-up (FU) visit patterns, and exploring which factors influence them are likely to be useful in determining which patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) may become Lost to Follow-Up (LTFU). Using an operation and implementation research approach, we sought 1) to describe the timing of FU visits amongst patients who have been on ART for shorter and longer periods of time; and 2) to determine the median time to late visits, and 3) to identify specific factors that may be associated with these patterns in Zomba, Malawi.
Methods and Findings
Using routinely collected programme monitoring data from Zomba District, we performed descriptive analyses on all ART visits among patients who initiated ART between Jan. 1, 2007–June 30, 2010. Based on an expected FU date, each FU visit was classified as early (≥4 day before an expected FU date), on time (3 days before an expected FU date/up to 6 days after an expected FU date), or late (≥7 days after an expected FU date). In total, 7,815 patients with 76417 FU visits were included. Ninety-two percent of patients had ≥2 FU visits. At the majority of visits, patients were either on time or late. The median time to a first late visit among those with 2 or more visits was 216 days (IQR: 128–359). Various patient- and visit-level factors differed significantly across Early, On Time, and Late visit groups including ART adherence and frequency of, and type of side effects.
The majority of patients do not demonstrate consistent FU visit patterns. Individuals were generally on ART for at least 6 months before experiencing their first late visit. Our findings have implications for the development of effective interventions that meet patient needs when they present early and can reduce patient losses to follow-up when they are late. In particular, time-varying visit characteristics need further research.
"USAID-AMPATH superstructure, a hub-and-spoke model of care delivery developed to increase accessibility of services to an impoverished rural population, was repurposed to address cancer . More than 50 remote sites, housed in GoK Ministry of Medical Services (MoMS) facilities ranging from permanent buildings with reliable electricity and in-house laboratory services to basic clinical venues – at times, a simple tent in a field – serve as a distributed , accessible network for population-based cancer screening and prevention activities . This network also has processes in place for referral of more complex cancer cases to the higher-level care centers, and facilitates adequate follow-up. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Increased awareness of cancer as a health crisis facing less developed healthcare systems has led to recent calls for increased investment in cancer care infrastructure in low resource settings. However, operational descriptions of well-functioning cancer care systems in resource-constrained settings are limited. AMPATH-Oncology is the result of collaboration between North American, European, and Kenyan partners to develop a comprehensive cancer care model that supports screening services, cancer treatment, and palliative care. This article describes the approach taken by the AMPATH-Oncology program to deliver cancer care in a resource-constrained setting. A review of other ‘high-income – low-income’ collaborative models identifies successful strategies to implement cancer care in low resource environments.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of Cancer Policy