01 Jul 2011
Lambdin BH, Micek MA, Koepsell TD, Hughes JP, Sherr K, Pfeiffer J, et al. (2011). Patient Volume, Human Resource Levels, and Attrition From HIV Treatment Programs in Central Mozambique . J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 57(3), e33-e39. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182167e90
Introduction: Human resource shortages are viewed as one of the primary obstacles to provide effective services to growing patient populations receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and to expand ART access further. We examined the relationship of patient volume, human resource levels, and patient characteristics with attrition from HIV treatment programs in central Mozambique.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult, ART-naive, nonpregnant patients who initiated ART between January 2006 and June 2008 in the national HIV care program. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association of patient volume, clinical staff burden, and pharmacy staff burden with attrition, adjusting for patient characteristics.
Results: A total of 11,793 patients from 18 clinics were studied. After adjusting for patient characteristics, patients attending clinics with medium pharmacy staff burden [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.39 (95% CI: 1.07 to 1.80)] and high pharmacy staff burden [HR = 2.09 (95% CI: 1.50 to 2.91)] tended to have a higher risk of attrition (P value for trend: <0.001). Patients attending clinics with higher clinical staff burden did not have a statistically higher risk of attrition. Patients attending clinics with medium patient volume levels [HR = 1.45 (95% CI: 1.04 to 2.04)] and high patient volume levels [HR = 1.41 (95% CI: 1.04 to 1.92)] had a higher risk of attrition, but the trend test was not significant (P = 0.198).
Discussion: Patients attending clinics with higher pharmacy staff burden had a higher risk of attrition. These results highlight a potential area within the health system where interventions could be applied to improve the retention of these patient populations.