UNITED STATES: Establishment, Retention and Loss to Follow-Up in Outpatient HIV Care

 

 

 

UNITED STATES:   ”Establishment, Retention and Loss to Follow-Up in Outpatient HIV Care”
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes Vol. 60; No. 3: P. 249-259    (07.01.12):: John A. Fleishman, PhD; and others

Though HIV-infected patients optimally benefit from indefinite, periodic outpatient care, the initial establishment of HIV care and subsequent care retention are problematic. The study authors examined establishment, retention, and loss to follow-up (LTFU) in patients receiving care at 12 clinics in the HIV Research Network.

Medical records were reviewed for 22,984 adult HIV patients who were treated between 2001 and 2009. Three dichotomous outcome measures were based on each patient’s outpatient visit history. Establishment indicated whether the patient made outpatient visits for longer than six months after initial enrollment. Retention reflected whether the patient had at least two outpatient visits separated by 90 days in each year in care. Patients who had no outpatient visits for more than 12 months without returning were classified as LTFU. The demographic and clinical correlates of each outcome and the combined outcome of meeting all three measures were examined using multiple logistic regression.

“Overall, 21.7 percent of patients never established HIV care after an initial visit. Among established patients, 57.4 percent did not meet the retention criterion in all years, and 34.9 percent were LTFU. Only 20.4 percent of all patients met all three criteria,” according to the study results, which noted the odds of successfully meeting all three criteria were higher for women, older patients, Hispanics compared with whites, and those with CD4 levels =50 cells per cubic millimeter.

The authors concluded that the data “highlight the need to improve establishment and retention in HIV care.”

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Establishment, Retention, and Loss to Follow-Up in Outpatient HIV Care.

Fleishman JA, Yehia BR, Moore RD, Korthuis PT, Gebo KA; For the HIV Research Network.

Source

*Center for Cost and Financing Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD †Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA ‡Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD §Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

For optimal clinical benefit, HIV-infected patients should receive periodic outpatient care indefinitely. However, initially establishing HIV care and subsequent retention in care are problematic. This study examines establishment, retention, and loss to follow-up (LTFU) in a large multi-site cohort over a 2-8 year period.

METHODS:

Medical record data were reviewed for 22,984 adult HIV patients receiving care at 12 clinics in the HIV Research Network between 2001 and 2009. Three dichotomous outcome measures were based on each patient’s history of outpatient visits. Establishment reflects whether the patient made outpatient visits for longer than 6 months after initial enrollment. The retention measure reflects whether the patient had at least 2 outpatient visits separated by 90 days in each year in care. LTFU reflects whether the patient had no outpatient visits for more than 12 months without returning. Multiple logistic regression examined demographic and clinical correlates of each outcome and the combined outcome of meeting all 3 measures.

RESULTS:

Overall, 21.7% of patients never established HIV care after an initial visit. Among established patients, 57.4% did not meet the retention criterion in all years, and 34.9% were LTFU. Only 20.4% of all patients met all 3 criteria. The odds of successfully meeting all 3 criteria were higher for women, for older patients, for Hispanics compared with whites, and for those with CD4 levels ≤50 cells per cubic millimeter.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data highlight the need to improve establishment and retention in HIV care.