Efficacy of a lay health worker led group antiretroviral medication adherence training among non-adherent HIV-positive patients in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: results from a randomized trial

SOURCE: Sahara J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, S.Ramlagan, D.Jones, S.M.Weiss, H.Fomundam, L.Chanetsa
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7488
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/3195
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/3195

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There is a lack of theory-based randomized controlled trials to examine the effect of antiretroviral adherence in sub-Saharan Africa. We assessed the effectiveness of a lay health worker lead structured group intervention to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in a cohort of HIV-infected adults. This two-arm randomized controlled trial was undertaken at an HIV clinic in a district hospital in South Africa. A total of 152 adult patients on ART and with adherence problems were randomized 1:1 to one of two conditions, a standard adherence intervention package plus a structured three session group intervention or to a standard adherence intervention package alone. Self-reported adherence was measured using the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group adherence instrument prior to, post intervention and at follow-up. Baseline characteristics were similar for both conditions. At post-intervention, adherence information knowledge increased significantly in the intervention condition in comparison to the standard of care, while adherence motivation and skills did not significantly change among the conditions over time. There was a significant improvement in ART adherence and CD4 count and a significant reduction of depression scores over time in both conditions, however, no significant intervention effect between conditions was found. Lay health workers may be a useful adjunct to treatment to enhance the adherence information component of the medication adherence intervention, but knowledge may be necessary but not sufficient to increase adherence in this sample. Psychosocial informational interventions may require more advanced skill training in lay health workers to achieve superior adherence outcomes in comparison standard care in this resource-constrained setting.