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REACH: a mixed-methods study to investigate the measurement, prediction and improvement of retention and engagement in outpatient HIV care

Howarth, A; Apea, V; Michie, S; Morris, S; Sachikonye, M; Mercer, C; Evans, A; ... Burns, F; + view all (2017) REACH: a mixed-methods study to investigate the measurement, prediction and improvement of retention and engagement in outpatient HIV care. Health Services and Delivery Research , 5 (13) pp. 1-160. 10.3310/hsdr05130. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Antiretroviral therapy (ART) benefits individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through reduced morbidity and mortality, and brings public health gains through a reduction in HIV transmission. People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH) need to know their HIV status and engage in HIV care in order for these individual and public health benefits to be realised. OBJECTIVE To explore, describe and understand HIV outpatient attendance in PLWH, in order to develop cost-effective interventions to optimise engagement in care. DESIGN A mixed-methods study incorporating secondary analysis of data from the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC) study and primary data collection. METHODS Phase 1 – an engagement-in-care (EIC) algorithm was developed to categorise patients as in care or out of care for each month of follow-up. The algorithm was used in group-based trajectory analysis to examine patterns of attendance over time and of the association between the proportion of months in care before ART initiation and post-ART mortality and laboratory test costs. Phase 2 – a cross-sectional survey was conducted among patients attending seven London HIV clinics. Regular attenders (all appointments attended in past year), irregular attenders (one or more appointments missed in past year) and non-attenders (recent absence of ≥ 1 year) were recruited. A ‘retention risk tool’ was developed to identify those at risk of disengaging from care. Individual in-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with PLWH. Phase 3 – key informant interviews were conducted with HIV service providers. Interventions were developed from the findings of phases 2 and 3. RESULTS Plots from group-based trajectory analysis indicated that four trajectories best fitted the data. Higher EIC is associated with reduced mortality but the association between EIC before starting ART, and post-ART mortality [relative hazard (RH) per 10% increase in EIC 0.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.18 to 0.47] was attenuated after adjustment for fixed covariates and post-ART cluster of differentiation 4 counts and viral loads (RH 0.74, 95% CI 0.42 to 1.30). Small differences were found in pre-ART EIC and the costs of post-ART lab tests. The final model for the retention risk tool included age at diagnosis, having children, recreational drug use, drug/alcohol dependency, insufficient money for basic needs and use of public transport to get to the clinic. Quantitative and qualitative data showed that a range of psychological, social and economic issues were associated with disengagement from care. The negative impact of stigma on attendance was highlighted. Interventions were proposed that support a holistic approach to care including peer support, address stigma by holding clinics in alternative locations and involve training staff to encourage attendance. CONCLUSIONS The study shows the adverse health impacts of disengaging from HIV care and demonstrates the importance of the wider health and social context in managing HIV effectively. Although phase 1 analysis was based on UK data, phases 2 and 3 were limited to London. The interventions proposed are supported by the data but their cost-effectiveness requires testing. Future research is needed to evaluate the interventions, to validate our retention risk tool across populations and settings, and to fully analyse the economic costs of disengaging from HIV care.

Type: Article
Title: REACH: a mixed-methods study to investigate the measurement, prediction and improvement of retention and engagement in outpatient HIV care
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3310/hsdr05130
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hsdr05130
Language: English
Additional information: © Queen’s Printer and Controller of HMSO 2017. This work was produced by Howarth et al. under the terms of a commissioning contract issued by the Secretary of State for Health. This issue may be freely reproduced for the purposes of private research and study and extracts (or indeed, the full report) may be included in professional journals provided that suitable acknowledgement is made and the reproduction is not associated with any form of advertising. Applications for commercial reproduction should be addressed to: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Applied Health Research
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1549971
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