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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Provider-Level and Other Health Systems Factors Influencing Engagement in HIV Care: A Qualitative Study of a Vulnerable Population

TitleProvider-Level and Other Health Systems Factors Influencing Engagement in HIV Care: A Qualitative Study of a Vulnerable Population
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLam, Y, Westergaard, R, Kirk, G, Ahmadi, A, Genz, A, Keruly, J, Hutton, H, Surkan, PJ
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Paginatione0158759
ISBN Number1932-6203
Accession Number27428012
Abstract

Despite the existence of highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality continue to be public health burdens in the United States due to difficulties in engaging people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in continuous, effective care. In comparison to studies investigating patient-level characteristics associated with starting and remaining in care, there is relatively little research on how structural factors, such as those pertaining to healthcare providers and the infrastructure for delivery of health services, influence patients' engagement in HIV care. Our study, based in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, uses qualitative research methods with a population of predominantly African American PLWHA who have a history of drug abuse, to examine facilitators and barriers regarding adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and HIV care appointment attendance. Data collection involved conducting one-on-one, in-depth interviews with 31 study participants, and data analysis entailed thematic coding of interview transcripts and writing analytic memos to develop ideas and concepts. Among other findings, factors described as influential by our study participants related to appointment reminders and scheduling, the attitudes and communication styles of HIV clinicians, and the disposition and availability of other healthcare workers on the care "team." Thus, improving quality of HIV care and means of delivering it may help mitigate the numerous points in the continuum of HIV care when a patient may disengage.

PMCID

PMC4948838