A systematic review of interventions to improve prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission service delivery and promote retention.
ABSTRACT: The success of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) is dependent upon high retention of mother-infant pairs within these programmes. This is a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions that aim to improve PMTCT service delivery and promote retention throughout the PMTCT steps.Selected databases were searched for studies published in English (up to September 2015). Outcomes of interest included antiretroviral (ARV) drugs or antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation among HIV-positive pregnant and/or breastfeeding women and their infants, retention into PMTCT programs, the uptake of early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV and infant HIV status. Risk ratios and random-effect meta-analysis were used in the analysis.Interventions assessed in the 34 identified studies included male partner involvement in PMTCT, peer mentoring, the use of community health workers (CHWs), mobile phone-based reminders, conditional cash transfer, training of midwives, integration of PMTCT services and enhanced referral. Five studies (two randomized) that evaluated mobile phone-based interventions showed a statistically significant increase (pooled RR 1.18; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.32, I(2)=83%) in uptake of EID of HIV at around six weeks postpartum. Male partner involvement in PMTCT was associated with reductions in infant HIV transmission (pooled RR 0.61; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.94, I(2)=0%) in four studies (one randomized). Four studies (three randomized) that were grounded on psychological interventions reported non-significant results (pooled RR 1.01; 95% CI 0.93 to 1.09, I(2)=69%) in increasing ARV/ART uptake among HIV-positive pregnant and/or breastfeeding women and infant HIV testing (pooled RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.94 to 1.07, I(2)=45%). The effect of the other interventions on the effectiveness of improving PMTCT uptake was unclear. Heterogeneity of interventions limits these findings.Our findings indicate that mobile phone-based reminders may increase the uptake of EID of HIV. Studies on male partner involvement in PMTCT reported reductions in infant HIV transmission. Stronger evidence is needed and future studies should determine the long-term effects of these interventions in improving retention throughout the PMTCT steps.
Project description:Malawi faces challenges with retaining women in prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) services. We evaluated Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE's) community score card (CSC) in 11 purposively selected health facilities, assessing the effect on: (1) retention in PMTCT services, (2) uptake of early infant diagnosis (EID), (3) collective efficacy among clients, and (4) self-efficacy among health care workers (HCWs) in delivering quality services. The CSC is a participatory community approach. In this study, HCWs and PMTCT clients identified issues impacting PMTCT service quality and uptake and implemented actions for improvement. A mixed-methods, pre- and post-intervention design was used to evaluate the intervention. We abstracted routine clinical data on retention in PMTCT services for HIV-positive clients attending their first antenatal care visit and EID uptake for their infants for 8-month periods before and after implementation. To assess collective efficacy and self-efficacy, we administered questionnaires and conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) pre- and post-intervention with PMTCT clients recruited from CSC participants, and HCWs providing HIV care from facilities. Retention of HIV-positive women in PMTCT services at three and six months and EID uptake was not significantly different pre- and post-implementation. For the clients, the collective efficacy scale average improved significantly post-intervention, (p = 0.003). HCW self-efficacy scale average did not improve. Results from the FGDs highlighted a strengthened relationship between HCWs and PMTCT clients, with clients reporting increased satisfaction with services. However, the data indicated continued challenges with stigma and fear of disclosure. While CSC may foster mutual trust and respect between HCWs and PMTCT clients, we did not find it improved PMTCT retention or EID uptake within the short duration of the study period. More research is needed on ways to improve service quality and decrease stigmatized behaviors, such as HIV testing and treatment services, as well as the longer-term impacts of interventions like the CSC on clinical outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The recent scale-up of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services has rapidly accelerated antiretroviral therapy (ART) uptake among pregnant and postpartum women in sub-Saharan Africa. The Mother and Infant Retention for Health (MIR4Health) study evaluates the impact of a combination intervention administered by trained lay health workers to decrease attrition among HIV-positive women initiating PMTCT services and their infants through 6 months postpartum. METHODS:This was a qualitative study nested within the MIR4Health trial. MIR4Health was conducted at 10 health facilities in Nyanza, Kenya from September 2013 to September 2015. The trial intervention addressed behavioral, social, and structural barriers to PMTCT retention and included: appointment reminders via text and phone calls, follow-up and tracking for missed clinic visits, PMTCT health education at home visits and during clinic visits, and retention and adherence support and counseling. All interventions were administered by lay health workers. We describe results of a nested small qualitative inquiry which conducted two focus groups to assess the experiences and perceptions of lay health workers administering the interventions. Discussions were recorded and simultaneously transcribed and translated into English. Data were analyzed using framework analysis approach. RESULTS:Study findings show lay health workers played a critical role supporting mothers in PMTCT services across a range of behavioral, social, and structural domains, including improved communication and contact, health education, peer support, and patient advocacy and assistance. Findings also identified barriers to the uptake and implementation of the interventions, such as concerns about privacy and stigma, and the limitations of the healthcare system including healthcare worker attitudes. Overall, study findings indicate that lay health workers found the interventions to be feasible, acceptable, and well received by clients. CONCLUSIONS:Lay health workers played a fundamental role in supporting mothers engaged in PMTCT services and provided valuable feedback on the implementation of PMTCT interventions. Future interventions must include strategies to ensure client privacy, decrease stigma within communities, and address the practical limitations of health systems. This study adds important insight to the growing body of research on lay health worker experiences in HIV and PMTCT care. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01962220 .
Project description:BACKGROUND:Effective retention of HIV-infected mothers and their infants is fraught with multiple challenges, resulting in loss across the continuum of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) care and missed opportunities to offer life-saving HIV prevention and treatment. METHODS:The Mother Infant Retention for Health study is an individual-randomized study evaluating the effectiveness of active patient follow-up compared with standard of care on the combined outcome of attrition of HIV-infected women and their infants at 6 months postpartum. Lay counselors administered the active patient follow-up package of interventions, including individualized health education, use of flip charts during clinic visits, and at home, phone and short message service appointment reminders, active phone and physical tracking of patients immediately after missed clinic visits, and individualized retention and adherence support. RESULTS:Use of study visits to indicate participant progression along the PMTCT cascade highlights the nature of loss among women and infants in PMTCT care because of issues such as pregnancy complications, infant deaths, and transfer out. Delay in implementation of Option B+, unanticipated slow enrollment, a health-care worker strike, rapid HIV test kit shortages, and changes in national PMTCT guidelines necessitated several modifications to the protocol design and implementation to ensure successful completion of the study. CONCLUSIONS:Flexibility when operationalizing an implementation science study is critical in the context of the shifting landscape in a noncontrolled "real-world" setting. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01962220.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>This review was conducted to identify interventions effective in improving uptake and retention of HIV-positive mothers and their infants in prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) in order to inform programme planning.<h4>Methods</h4>We conducted a systematic review of studies comparing usual care with any intervention to improve uptake and retention of HIV-positive pregnant or breastfeeding women and their children from birth to 2 years of age in PMTCT services in LMICs. Twenty-two electronic databases were searched from inception to 15 January 2018, for randomised, quasi-randomised and non-randomised controlled trials, and interrupted time series studies; reference lists of included articles were searched for relevant articles. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care group criteria. Random-effects meta-analysis was conducted for studies reporting similar interventions and outcomes.<h4>Results</h4>We identified 29 837 articles, of which 18 studies were included in our review. Because of heterogeneity in interventions and outcome measures, only one meta-analysis of two studies and one outcome was conducted; we found a statistically significant increase in antiretroviral therapy (ART) use during pregnancy for integration of HIV and antenatal care relative to standard non-integrated care (pooled AOR=2.69; 95% CI 1.25 to 5.78, p=0.0113). The remaining studies assessing other patient, provider or health system interventions were synthesised narratively, with small effects seen across intervention categories for both maternal and infant PMTCT outcomes based predominately on evidence with moderate to high risk of bias.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to improve uptake and retention of mothers and infants in PMTCT care is lacking. Our findings suggest that integration of HIV and antenatal care may improve ART use during pregnancy. Future studies to replicate promising approaches are needed. Improved reporting of key methodological criteria will facilitate interpretation of findings and improve the utility of evidence to PMTCT programme planners.<h4>Prospero registration number</h4>CRD42015020829.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite progress to expand access to HIV testing and treatment during pregnancy in Kenya, gaps still remain in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services. This study addresses the need for effective and scalable interventions to support women throughout the continuum of care for PMTCT services in low-resource settings. Our research team has successfully implemented the HIV Infant Tracking System (HITSystem), a Web-based, system-level intervention to improve early infant diagnosis (EID) outcomes. OBJECTIVE:This study will expand the scope of the HITSystem to address PMTCT services to bridge the gap between maternal and pediatric HIV services and improve outcomes. This paper describes the intervention development protocol to adapt and pilot an HITSystem version 2.0 to assess acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary PMTCT outcomes in Kenya. METHODS:This is a 3-year intervention development study to adapt the current HITSystem intervention to support a range of PMTCT outcomes including appointment attendance, antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, hospital deliveries, and integration of maternal and pediatric HIV services in low-resource settings. The study will be conducted in 3 phases. Phase 1 will elicit feedback from intervention users (patients and providers) to guide development and refinement of the new PMTCT components and inform optimal implementation. In Phase 2, we will design and develop the HITSystem 2.0 features to support key PMTCT outcomes guided by clinical content experts and findings from Phase 1. Phase 3 will assess complete PMTCT retention (before, during, and after delivery) using a matched randomized pilot study design in 2 hospitals over 18 months. A total of N=108 HIV-positive pregnant women (n=54 per site) will be enrolled and followed from their first PMTCT appointment until infant HIV DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction testing at the target age of 6 weeks (<7 weeks) postnatal. RESULTS:Funding for this study was received in August 2015, enrollment in Phase 1 began in March 2016, and completion of data collection is expected by May 2019. CONCLUSIONS:This protocol will extend, adapt, and pilot an HITSystem 2.0 version to improve attendance of PMTCT appointments, increase ART adherence and hospital-based deliveries, and prompt EID by 6 weeks postnatal. The HITSystem 2.0 aims to improve the integration of maternal and pediatric HIV services. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02726607; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02726607 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/78VraLrOb). INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):DERR1-10.2196/13268.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Integrating antenatal care (ANC) and HIV care may improve uptake and retention in services along the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) cascade. This study aimed to determine whether integration of HIV services into ANC settings improves PMTCT service utilization outcomes. METHODS:ANC clinics in rural Kenya were randomized to integrated (6 clinics, 569 women) or nonintegrated (6 clinics, 603 women) services. Intervention clinics provided all HIV services, including highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), whereas control clinics provided PMTCT services but referred women to HIV care clinics within the same facility. PMTCT utilization outcomes among HIV-infected women (maternal HIV care enrollment, HAART initiation, and 3-month infant HIV testing uptake) were compared using generalized estimating equations and Cox regression. RESULTS:HIV care enrollment was higher in intervention compared with control clinics [69% versus 36%; odds ratio = 3.94, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.14 to 13.63]. Median time to enrollment was significantly shorter among intervention arm women (0 versus 8 days, hazard ratio = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.62 to 3.01). Eligible women in the intervention arm were more likely to initiate HAART (40% versus 17%; odds ratio = 3.22, 95% CI: 1.81 to 5.72). Infant testing was more common in the intervention arm (25% versus 18%), however, not statistically different. No significant differences were detected in postnatal service uptake or maternal retention. CONCLUSIONS:Service integration increased maternal HIV care enrollment and HAART uptake. However, PMTCT utilization outcomes were still suboptimal, and postnatal service utilization remained poor in both study arms. Further improvements in the PMTCT cascade will require additional research and interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The majority of HIV infection among children occurs through mother-to-child transmission. HIV exposed infants are recommended to have virological testing at birth or 4-6 weeks of age but challenges with centralized laboratory-based testing in Myanmar result in low testing rates and delays in result communication and treatment initiation. Decentralized point-of-care (POC) testing when integrated in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services, can be an alternative to increase coverage of early infant diagnosis (EID) and timely engagement in HIV treatment and care. AIM:This paper aims to explore experiences of caregivers of HIV-exposed infants enrolled in the PMTCT program in Myanmar and the perceived acceptability of point-of-care EID testing compared to conventional centralised laboratory-based testing. METHODS:This is a sub-study of the cluster randomised controlled stepped-wedge trial (Trial registration number: ACTRN12616000734460) that assessed the impact of near POC EID testing using Xpert HIV-1 Qual assay in four public hospitals in Myanmar. Caregivers of infants who were enrolled in the intervention phase of the main study, had been tested with both Xpert and standard of care tests and had received the results were eligible for this qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 caregivers. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated into English. Thematic data analysis was undertaken using NVivo 12 Software (QSR International). RESULTS:The majority of caregivers were satisfied with the quality of care provided by PMTCT services. However, they encountered social and financial access barriers to attend the PMTCT clinic regularly. Mothers had concerns about community stigma from the disclosure of their HIV status and the potential consequences for their infants. While medical care at the PMTCT clinics was free, caregivers sometimes experienced financial difficulties associated with out-of-pocket expenses for childbirth and transportation. Some caregivers had to choose not to attend work (impacting their income) or the adult antiretroviral clinic in order to attend the paediatric PMTCT clinic appointment. The acceptability of the Xpert testing process was high among the caregiver participants and more than half received the Xpert result on the same day as testing. Short turnaround time of the near POC EID testing enabled the caregivers to find out their infants' HIV status quicker, thereby shortening the stressful waiting time for results. CONCLUSION:Our study identified important access challenges facing caregivers of HIV exposed infants and high acceptability of near POC EID testing. Improving the retention rate in the PMTCT and EID programs necessitates careful attention of program managers and policy makers to these challenges, and POC EID represents a potential solution.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In sub-Saharan Africa, 3 community-facility linkage (CFL) models-Expert Clients, Community Health Workers (CHWs), and Mentor Mothers-have been widely implemented to support pregnant and breastfeeding women (PBFW) living with HIV and their infants to access and sustain care for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), yet their comparative impact under real-world conditions is poorly understood.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>We sought to estimate the effects of CFL models on a primary outcome of maternal loss to follow-up (LTFU), and secondary outcomes of maternal longitudinal viral suppression and infant "poor outcome" (encompassing documented HIV-positive test result, LTFU, or death), in Malawi's PMTCT/ART program. We sampled 30 of 42 high-volume health facilities ("sites") in 5 Malawi districts for study inclusion. At each site, we reviewed medical records for all newly HIV-diagnosed PBFW entering the PMTCT program between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, and, for pregnancies resulting in live births, their HIV-exposed infants, yielding 2,589 potentially eligible mother-infant pairs. Of these, 2,049 (79.1%) had an available HIV treatment record and formed the study cohort. A randomly selected subset of 817 (40.0%) cohort members underwent a field survey, consisting of a questionnaire and HIV biomarker assessment. Survey responses and biomarker results were used to impute CFL model exposure, maternal viral load, and early infant diagnosis (EID) outcomes for those missing these measures to enrich data in the larger cohort. We applied sampling weights in all statistical analyses to account for the differing proportions of facilities sampled by district. Of the 2,049 mother-infant pairs analyzed, 62.2% enrolled in PMTCT at a primary health center, at which time 43.7% of PBFW were ≤24 years old, and 778 (38.0%) received the Expert Client model, 640 (31.2%) the CHW model, 345 (16.8%) the Mentor Mother model, 192 (9.4%) ≥2 models, and 94 (4.6%) no model. Maternal LTFU varied by model, with LTFU being more likely among Mentor Mother model recipients (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14, 1.84; p = 0.003) than Expert Client recipients. Over 2 years from HIV diagnosis, PBFW supported by CHWs spent 14.3% (95% CI: 2.6%, 26.1%; p = 0.02) more days in an optimal state of antiretroviral therapy (ART) retention with viral suppression than women supported by Expert Clients. Infants receiving the Mentor Mother model (aHR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.52; p = 0.04) and ≥2 models (aHR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.20, 1.74; p < 0.001) were more likely to undergo EID testing by age 6 months than infants supported by Expert Clients. Infants receiving the CHW and Mentor Mother models were 1.15 (95% CI: 0.80, 1.67; p = 0.44) and 0.84 (95% CI: 0.50, 1.42; p = 0.51) times as likely, respectively, to experience a poor outcome by 1 year than those supported by Expert Clients, but not significantly so. Study limitations include possible residual confounding, which may lead to inaccurate conclusions about the impacts of CFL models, uncertain generalizability of findings to other settings, and missing infant medical record data that limited the precision of infant outcome measurement.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this descriptive study, we observed widespread reach of CFL models in Malawi, with favorable maternal outcomes in the CHW model and greater infant EID testing uptake in the Mentor Mother model. Our findings point to important differences in maternal and infant HIV outcomes by CFL model along the PMTCT continuum and suggest future opportunities to identify key features of CFL models driving these outcome differences.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Efforts to scale up and improve programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) have focused primarily at the health facility level, and limited attention has been paid to defining an effective set of community interventions to improve demand and uptake of services and retention. Many barriers to PMTCT are also barriers to pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care faced by mothers regardless of HIV status. Demand for maternal and child health (MCH) and PMTCT services can be limited by critical social, cultural, and structural barriers. Yet, rigorous evaluation has shown limited evidence of effectiveness of multilevel community-wide interventions aimed at improving MCH and HIV outcomes for pregnant women living with HIV. We propose to assess the effect of a package of multilevel community interventions: a social learning and action component, community dialogues, and peer-led discussion groups, on the demand for, uptake of, and retention of HIV positive pregnant/postpartum women in MCH/PMTCT services. METHODS/DESIGN:This study will undertake a three-arm randomized trial in Swaziland, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Districts/regions (n = 9) with 45 PMTCT-implementing health facilities and their catchment areas (populations 7,300-27,500) will be randomly allocated to three intervention arms: 1) community leader engagement, 2) community leader engagement with community days, or 3) community leader engagement with community days and male and female community peer groups. The primary study outcome is HIV exposed infants (HEIs) returning to the health facility within 2 months for early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV. Secondary study outcomes include gestational age of women attending for first antenatal care, male partners tested for HIV, and HEIs receiving nevirapine prophylaxis at birth. Changes in community knowledge, attitudes, practices, and beliefs on MCH/PMTCT will be assessed through household surveys. DISCUSSION:Implementation of the protocol necessitated changes in the original study design. We purposively selected facilities in the districts/regions though originally the study clusters were to be randomly selected. Lifelong antiretroviral therapy for all HIV positive pregnant and lactating women, Option B+, was implemented in the three countries during the study period, with the potential for a differential impact by study arm. Implementation however, was rapidly done across the districts/regions, so that there is unlikely be this potential confounding. We developed a system of monitoring and documentation of potential confounding activities or actions, and these data will be incorporated into analyses at the conclusion of the project. Strengthens of the study are that it tests multilevel interventions, utilizes program as well as study specific and individual data, and it is conducted under "real conditions" leading to more robust findings. Limitations of the protocol include the lack of a true control arm and inadequate control for the potential effect of Option B+, such as the intensification of messages as the importance of early ANC and male partner testing. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov (study ID: NCT01971710) Protocol version 5, 30 July 2013, registered 13 August 2013.
Project description:To determine magnitude and reasons of loss to program and poor antiretroviral prophylaxis coverage in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs in sub-Saharan Africa.Systematic review and meta-analysis.We searched PubMed and Embase databases for PMTCT studies in sub-Saharan Africa published between January 2002 and March 2012. Outcomes were the percentage of pregnant women tested for HIV, initiating antiretroviral prophylaxis, having a CD4 cell count measured, and initiating antiretroviral combination therapy (cART) if eligible. In children outcomes were early infant diagnosis for HIV, and cART initiation. We combined data using random-effects meta-analysis and identified predictors of uptake of interventions.Forty-four studies from 15 countries including 75,172 HIV-infected pregnant women were analyzed. HIV-testing uptake at antenatal care services was 94% [95% confidence intervals (CIs) 92-95%] for opt-out and 58% (95% CI 40-75%) for opt-in testing. Coverage with any antiretroviral prophylaxis was 70% (95% CI 64-76%) and 62% (95% CI 50-73%) of pregnant women eligible for cART received treatment. Sixty-four percent (95% CI 48-81%) of HIV exposed infants had early diagnosis performed and 55% (95% CI 36-74%) were tested between 12 and 18 months. Uptake of PMTCT interventions was improved if cART was provided at the antenatal clinic and if the male partner was involved.In sub-Saharan Africa, uptake of PMTCT interventions and early infant diagnosis is unsatisfactory. An integrated family-centered approach seems to improve retention.