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The role of health care facilities in patient adherence to HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatment: associations between adherence measures and organizational characteristics of public health care sites that assist people living with HIV in Brazil

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Maria Altenfelder Santos
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Medicina (FM/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria Ines Baptistella Nemes; Ivan França Junior; Mário César Scheffer
Advisor: Maria Ines Baptistella Nemes; Paulo Rossi Menezes

Background: Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is crucial for HIV/AIDS treatment success. In spite of recommendations provided for adherence promotion in HIV outpatient care facilities of the Brazilian Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS), there are no standard measures for adherence monitoring in the facilities and there is little information available about adherence strategies actually implemented. This study aimed at: describing national ART adherence measures and adherence strategies conducted in public HIV care facilities; investigating relationships between adherence and care site characteristics. Methods: Between 2009 and 2011, a cross-sectional study of ART adherence was conducted with a national sample of patients treated in public health care facilities. Randomly selected study participants were: 1) care sites of different quality levels (according to a previous national evaluation of HIV care organization), located in different country regions; 2) patients receiving ART at selected sites, 18 years or older, non-pregnant. Adherence measurement was based on the WebAd-Q Questionnaire, a pre-validated web-based self-report tool that approaches three adherence dimensions: drugs, dose (number of pills) and time schedule. Answers were weighted according to patients\' probability of selection. Site characteristics were obtained based on two self-report tools answered by managers and health care teams: 1) the Qualiaids Questionnaire, which evaluates HIV care overall organizational quality; 2) the Adherence Strategies Questionnaire, which focuses on aspects specifically related to adherence promotion. Other site characteristics analyzed were: geographic region, site size (number of patients receiving ART) and municipality size (number of inhabitants). Care site performance in relation to adherence strategies was evaluated based on five domains: monitoring; adherence investigation; multidisciplinary care; group activities and strategies for special populations; professionals\' training and update. Associations between adherence measures and site characteristics were tested in logistic regression models (CI 95%, p < 0.05). Associations between adherence strategies and other site characteristics were also investigated. Results: From a total of 2,424 participants, who were receiving care at 55 facilities, 61.1% (CI 95% 58.5-63.7) reported non-adherence to one or more of the dimensions analyzed. The dimension with the largest non-adherence proportion was timing (50.9%). Overall, the facilities presented a medium performance on adherence strategies. Good organizational quality and small size were associated with better site performance and/or with conduction of specific strategies. Contrary to expectations, inverse associations of adherence with quality, care complexity (according to size) and implementation of adherence strategies were predominant. Discussion: This study indicated actions required to improve adherence work developed in the facilities, including: timing adherence promotion; prioritization of people facing adherence difficulties and populations requiring specific interventions; monitoring standardization; more efforts focusing on technical management, multidisciplinary approach, specific strategies to support adherence, and partnerships with organized civil society. The development of new analysis models in future studies should contribute to improve understanding of the relationships between adherence and care site characteristics (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/20578-4 - The role of health services in patient adherence to antiretroviral treatment of HIV/AIDS: associations between adherence measures and organizational characteristics of public healthcare sites that assist people living with HIV in Brazil
Grantee:Maria Altenfelder Santos
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate