Virtual Intervention to Support Self-Management of Antiretroviral Therapy Among People Living With HIV.

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    • Abstract:
      Background: Living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) necessitates long-term health care follow-up, particularly with respect to antiretroviral therapy (ART) management. Taking advantage of the enormous possibilities afforded by information and communication technologies (ICT), we developed a virtual nursing intervention (VIH-TAVIE) intended to empower HIV patients to manage their ART and their symptoms optimally. ICT interventions hold great promise across the entire continuum of HIV patient care but further research is needed to properly evaluate their effectiveness. Objective: The objective of the study was to compare the effectiveness of two types of follow-up--traditional and virtual--in terms of promoting ART adherence among HIV patients. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted. Participants were 179 HIV patients on ART for at least 6 months, of which 99 were recruited at a site offering virtual follow-up and 80 at another site offering only traditional follow-up. The primary outcome was medication adherence and the secondary outcomes were the following cognitive and affective variables: self-efficacy, attitude toward medication intake, symptom-related discomfort, stress, and social support. These were evaluated by self-administered questionnaire at baseline (T0), and 3 (T3) and 6 months (T6) later. Results: On average, participants had been living with HIV for 14 years and had been on ART for 11 years. The groups were highly heterogeneous, differing on a number of sociodemographic dimensions: education, income, marital status, employment status, and living arrangements. Adherence at baseline was high, reaching 80% (59/74) in the traditional follow-up group and 84% (81/97) in the virtual follow-up group. A generalized estimating equations (GEE) analysis was run, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics at baseline. A time effect was detected indicating that both groups improved in adherence over time but did not differ in this regard. Improvement at 6 months was significantly greater than at 3 months in both groups. Analysis of variance revealed no significant group-by-time interaction effect on any of the secondary outcomes. A time effect was observed for the two kinds of follow-ups; both groups improved on symptom-related discomfort and social support. Conclusions: Results showed that both interventions improved adherence to ART. Thus, the two kinds of follow-up can be used to promote treatment adherence among HIV patients on ART. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]