Costing the implementation of public health interventions in resource-limited settings: a conceptual framework. (2020). Sohn H., Tucker A., Ferguson O., Gomes I., Dowdy D, Implementation science : IS, 15, 86
BACKGROUND: Failing to account for the resources required to successfully implement public health interventions can lead to an underestimation of costs and budget impact, optimistic cost-effectiveness estimates, and ultimately a disconnect between published evidence and public health decision-making. METHODS: We developed a conceptual framework for assessing implementation costs. We illustrate the use of this framework with case studies involving interventions for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings. RESULTS: Costs of implementing public health interventions may be conceptualized as occurring across three phases: design, initiation, and maintenance. In the design phase, activities include developing intervention components and establishing necessary infrastructure (e.g., technology, standard operating procedures). Initiation phase activities include training, initiation of supply chains and quality assurance procedures, and installation of equipment. Implementation costs in the maintenance phase include ongoing technical support, monitoring and evaluation, and troubleshooting unexpected obstacles. Within each phase, implementation costs can be incurred at the site of delivery ("site-specific" costs) or more centrally ("above-service" or "central" costs). For interventions evaluated in the context of research studies, implementation costs should be classified as programmatic, research-related, or shared research/program costs. Purely research-related costs are often excluded from analysis of programmatic implementation. CONCLUSIONS: In evaluating public health interventions in resource-limited settings, accounting for implementation costs enables more realistic estimates of budget impact and cost-effectiveness and provides important insights into program feasibility, scale-up, and sustainability. Assessment of implementation costs should be planned prospectively and performed in a standardized manner to ensure generalizability.
The Impact of Hypertension and Use of Calcium Channel Blockers on Tuberculosis Treatment Outcomes. (2020). Chidambaram V., Gupte A., Wang JY., Golub JE., Karakousis PC, Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
BACKGROUND: Hypertension induces systemic inflammation, but its impact on the outcome of infectious diseases like tuberculosis (TB) is unknown. Calcium channel blockers (CCB) improve TB treatment outcomes in pre-clinical models, but their effect in patients with TB remain unclear. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study, including all patients > 18 years receiving treatment for culture-confirmed, drug-sensitive TB from 2000 to 2016 at the National Taiwan University Hospital, assessed the association of hypertension and CCB use with all-cause and infection-related mortality during the first 9 months of TB treatment, as well as sputum-smear microscopy and sputum-culture positivity at 2 and 6 months. RESULTS: 1052 of the 2894 patients (36.4%) had hypertension. Multivariable analysis revealed that hypertension was associated with increased mortality due to all causes (HR 1.57, 95% confidence interval[CI], 1.23-1.99) and infections (HR 1.87, 95%CI, 1.34-2.6), but there was no statistical difference in microbiological outcomes when stratified based on hypertensive group. Dihydropyridine-CCB (DHP-CCB) use was associated with reduced all-cause mortality (HR 0.67, 95%CI: 0.45-0.98) only by univariate Cox regression. There was no association between DHP-CCB use and infection-related mortality (HR 0.78, 95%CI: 0.46-1.34) or microbiological outcomes in univariate or multivariate regression analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with hypertension have increased all-cause mortality and infection-related mortality during the 9 months following TB treatment initiation. DHP-CCB use may lower all-cause mortality in TB patients with hypertension. The presence of hypertension or the use of CCB did not result in a significant change in microbiological outcomes.
Effect of 2 Integrated Interventions on Alcohol Abstinence and Viral Suppression Among Vietnamese Adults With Hazardous Alcohol Use and HIV: A Randomized Clinical Trial. (2020). Go VF., Hutton HE., Ha TV., Chander G., Latkin CA., Mai NVT., Quynh BX., Nguyen V., Sripaipan T., Lancaster KE., Blackburn N., Hershow RB., Dowdy DW., Frangakis C, JAMA network open, 3, e2017115
IMPORTANCE: Hazardous and heavy alcohol use is common among people living with HIV and may decrease antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, but limited data exist from randomized clinical trials about the effects of interventions on viral load. OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of 2 scalable ART clinic-based interventions on alcohol use and viral suppression. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This 3-group randomized clinical trial was conducted among 440 adults with HIV who were being treated at 7 ART clinics in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. Adults receiving ART with hazardous alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption score ≥4 for men or ≥3 for women) and no plans to leave Thai Nguyen were included. Data were collected from March 2016 to May 2018 and analyzed from June 2018 to February 2020. INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to standard of care (SOC), a combined intervention of motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (6 in-person sessions of 1 hour each and 3 optional group sessions), or a brief intervention with similar components as the combined intervention but consisting of 2 shorter in-person sessions and 2 telephone sessions. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary study outcomes were percentage of days abstinent from alcohol, confirmed using the alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol, and viral suppression at 12 months after enrollment. RESULTS: A total of 440 eligible individuals (mean [SD] age, 40.2 [5.8] years; 426 [96.8%] men) were enrolled; 147 (33.4%) were assigned to the combined intervention, 147 (33.4%) to the brief intervention, and 146 (33.2%) to SOC. In the combined intervention group, 112 participants (76.2%) attended all 6 sessions, and in the brief intervention group, 124 (84.4%) attended all 4 sessions; in the whole sample, 390 (88.6%) completed 12 months of follow-up. At 12 months, the mean (SE) percentage of days abstinent was 65% (3.1%) among those in the combined intervention group, 65% (3.2%) among those in the brief intervention group, and 50% (3.4%) among those in the in the SOC group (Cohen d for combined intervention vs SOC and brief intervention vs SOC: 39%; 95% CI, 15% to 64%). Viral suppression (ie, <20 copies of HIV-1 RNA per milliliter) at 12 months was higher after the brief intervention than SOC (difference, 11%; 95% CI, 2% to 20%), but the difference between the combined intervention and SOC was not significantly different (difference, 5%; 95%, CI, -5% to 15%). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this study, the brief intervention resulted in a significant increase in percentage of days abstinent from alcohol and a significant increase in viral suppression after 12 months. Future implementation science studies evaluating scale-up of the brief intervention are needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02720237.
Estimated Population-Level Impact of Using a Six-Week Regimen of Daily Rifapentine to Treat Latent Tuberculosis Infection in the United States. (2020). Shrestha S., Parriott A., Menzies NA., Shete PB., Hill AN., Marks SM., Dowdy DW, Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 17, 1639-1642
Implementation of two alcohol reduction interventions among persons with hazardous alcohol use who are living with HIV in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam: a micro-costing analysis. (2020). Blackburn NA., Go VF., Bui Q., Hutton H., Tampi RP., Sripaipan T., Ha TV., Latkin C., Golden S., Golin C., Chander G., Frangakis C., Gottfredson N., Dowdy DW, Global health action, 13, 1814035
BACKGROUND: Hazardous alcohol use is detrimental to persons with HIV (PWH), impacting medication adherence and liver function, yet globally resources to target alcohol use behavior in this population are limited. Few studies have identified the costs of integrating alcohol reduction interventions into HIV care. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the costs of implementing and delivering two evidence-based behavioral counseling interventions targeting hazardous alcohol use among persons with HIV and to estimate the costs of scale-up in ART clinics in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. METHODS: We undertook a micro-costing approach to determine the costs of delivering two adapted evidence-based interventions to reduce alcohol use: an intensive combined cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy-informed intervention (CoI) and an abbreviated brief alcohol intervention (BI). A total of 294 participants with hazardous alcohol use were identified through a brief screening tool and received the CoI (n = 147) and the BI (n = 147) over 3 months. We estimated costs using time and motion studies, budget analysis, staff interviews, and participant questionnaires. Data were collected from 2016 to 2018 in VND and converted to USD. RESULTS: The total cost of implementation and administration of the intervention to 147 participants receiving the CoI was $13,900 ($95 per participant) and to 147 participants receiving the BI was $5700 ($39 per participant). Implementation and startup costs including training accounted for 27% of costs for the CoI and 28% for the BI. Counselor costs accounted for a large proportion of both the CoI (41%) and the BI (30%). CONCLUSIONS: Implementing and delivering alcohol reduction interventions to people with HIV in Vietnam with appropriate fidelity is costly. These costs may be reduced, particularly counselor labor costs, by using an evidence-based brief intervention format. Future research should explore the budgetary impact of brief and combined interventions to reduce hazardous alcohol use, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Protocol for the 3HP Options Trial: a hybrid type 3 implementation-effectiveness randomized trial of delivery strategies for short-course tuberculosis preventive therapy among people living with HIV in Uganda. (2020). Kadota JL., Musinguzi A., Nabunje J., Welishe F., Ssemata JL., Bishop O., Berger CA., Patel D., Sammann A., Katahoire A., Nahid P., Belknap R., Phillips PPJ., Namusobya J., Kamya M., Handley MA., Kiwanuka N., Katamba A., Dowdy D., Semitala FC., Cattamanchi A, Implementation science : IS, 15, 65
BACKGROUND: Recently, a 3-month (12-dose) regimen of weekly isoniazid and rifapentine (3HP) was recommended by the World Health Organization for the prevention of tuberculosis (TB) among people living with HIV (PLHIV) on common antiretroviral therapy regimens. The best approach to delivering 3HP to PLHIV remains uncertain. METHODS: We developed a three-armed randomized trial assessing optimized strategies for delivering 3HP to PLHIV. The trial will be conducted at the Mulago Immune Suppression Syndrome (i.e., HIV/AIDS) clinic in Kampala, Uganda. We plan to recruit 1656 PLHIV, randomized 1:1 to each of the three arms (552 per arm). Using a hybrid type 3 effectiveness-implementation design, this pragmatic trial aims to (1) compare the acceptance and completion of 3HP among PLHIV under three delivery strategies: directly observed therapy (DOT), self-administered therapy (SAT), and informed patient choice of either DOT or SAT (with the assistance of a decision aid); (2) to identify processes and contextual factors that influence the acceptance and completion of 3HP under each delivery strategy; and (3) to estimate the costs and compare the cost-effectiveness of three strategies for delivering 3HP. The three delivery strategies were each optimized to address key barriers to 3HP completion using a theory-informed approach. We hypothesize that high levels of treatment acceptance and completion can be achieved among PLHIV in sub-Saharan Africa and that offering PLHIV an informed choice between the optimized DOT and SAT delivery strategies will result in greater acceptance and completion of 3HP. The design and planned evaluation of the delivery strategies were guided by the use of implementation science conceptual frameworks. DISCUSSION: 3HP-one of the most promising interventions for TB prevention-will not be scaled up unless it can be delivered in a patient-centered fashion. We highlight shared decision-making as a key element of our trial design and theorize that offering PLHIV an informed choice between optimized delivery strategies will facilitate the highest levels of treatment acceptance and completion. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03934931 ; Registered 2 May 2019.
Comparing a standard and tailored approach to scaling up an evidence-based intervention for antiretroviral therapy for people who inject drugs in Vietnam: study protocol for a cluster randomized hybrid type III trial. (2020). Nguyen MXB., Chu AV., Powell BJ., Tran HV., Nguyen LH., Dao ATM., Pham MD., Vo SH., Bui NH., Dowdy DW., Latkin CA., Lancaster KE., Pence BW., Sripaipan T., Hoffman I., Miller WC., Go VF, Implementation science : IS, 15, 64
BACKGROUND: People who inject drugs (PWID) bear a disproportionate burden of HIV infection and experience poor outcomes. A randomized trial demonstrated the efficacy of an integrated System Navigation and Psychosocial Counseling (SNaP) intervention in improving HIV outcomes, including antiretroviral therapy (ART) and medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) uptake, viral suppression, and mortality. There is limited evidence about how to effectively scale such intervention. This protocol presents a hybrid type III effectiveness-implementation trial comparing two approaches for scaling-up SNaP. We will evaluate the effectiveness of SNaP implementation approaches as well as cost and the characteristics of HIV testing sites achieving successful or unsuccessful implementation of SNaP in Vietnam. METHODS: Design: In this cluster randomized controlled trial, two approaches to scaling-up SNaP for PWID in Vietnam will be compared. HIV testing sites (n = 42) were randomized 1:1 to the standard approach or the tailored approach. Intervention mapping was used to develop implementation strategies for both arms. The standard arm will receive a uniform package of these strategies, while implementation strategies for the tailored arm will be designed to address site-specific needs. PARTICIPANTS: HIV-positive PWID participants (n = 6200) will be recruited for medical record assessment at baseline; of those, 1500 will be enrolled for detailed assessments at baseline, 12, and 24 months. Site directors and staff at each of the 42 HIV testing sites will complete surveys at baseline, 12, and 24 months. OUTCOMES: Implementation outcomes (fidelity, penetration, acceptability) and effectiveness outcomes (ART, MOUD uptake, viral suppression) will be compared between the arms. To measure incremental costs, we will conduct an empirical costing study of each arm and the actual process of implementation from a societal perspective. Qualitative and quantitative site-level data will be used to explore key characteristics of HIV testing sites that successfully or unsuccessfully implement the intervention for each arm. DISCUSSION: Scaling up evidence-based interventions poses substantial challenges. The proposed trial contributes to the field of implementation science by applying a systematic approach to designing and tailoring implementation strategies, conducting a rigorous comparison of two promising implementation approaches, and assessing their incremental costs. Our study will provide critical guidance to Ministries of Health worldwide regarding the most effective, cost-efficient approach to SNaP implementation. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03952520 on Clinialtrials.gov. Registered 16 May 2019.
Policy Implications of Mathematical Modeling of Latent Tuberculosis Infection Testing and Treatment Strategies to Accelerate Tuberculosis Elimination. (2020). Marks SM., Dowdy DW., Menzies NA., Shete PB., Salomon JA., Parriott A., Shrestha S., Flood J., Hill AN, Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974), 135, 38S-43S
Willingness to accept reimbursement for visits to an HIV clinic for tuberculosis preventive therapy. (2020). Kadota JL., Katamba A., Musinguzi A., Welishe F., Nabunje J., Ssemata JL., Berger CA., Kamya MR., Namusobya J., Semitala FC., Cattamanchi A., Dowdy DW, The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 24, 729-731
Model-Based Cost-Effectiveness of State-level Latent Tuberculosis Interventions in California, Florida, New York and Texas. (2020). Jo Y., Shrestha S., Gomes I., Marks S., Hill A., Asay G., Dowdy D, Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
BACKGROUND: Targeted testing and treatment (TTT) for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is a recommended strategy to accelerate TB reductions and further tuberculosis elimination in the United States (US). Evidence on cost-effectiveness of TTT for key populations can help advance this goal. METHODS: We used a model of TB transmission to estimate the numbers of individuals who could be tested by interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) and treated for LTBI with three months of self-administered rifapentine and isoniazid (3HP) under various TTT scenarios. Specifically, we considered rapidly scaling up TTT among people who are non-US-born, diabetic, HIV-positive, homeless or incarcerated in California, Florida, New York, and Texas - states where more than half of US TB cases occur. We projected costs (from the healthcare system perspective, in 2018 dollars), thirty-year reductions in TB incidence, and incremental cost effectiveness (cost per quality-adjusted life year [QALY] gained) for TTT in each modeled population. RESULTS: The projected cost effectiveness of TTT differed substantially by state and population, while the health impact (number of TB cases averted) was consistently greatest among the non-US-born. TTT was most cost-effective among persons living with HIV (from $2,828/QALY gained in Florida to $11,265/QALY gained in New York) and least cost-effective among people with diabetes (from $223,041/QALY gained in California to $817,753 /QALY in New York). CONCLUSIONS: The modeled cost-effectiveness of TTT for LTBI varies across states but was consistently greatest among people living with HIV, moderate among people who are non-US-born, incarcerated, or homeless, and least cost-effective among people living with diabetes.
Spatial distribution of people diagnosed with tuberculosis through routine and active case finding: a community-based study in Kampala, Uganda. (2020). Robsky KO., Kitonsa PJ., Mukiibi J., Nakasolya O., Isooba D., Nalutaaya A., Salvatore PP., Kendall EA., Katamba A., Dowdy D, Infectious diseases of poverty, 9, 73
BACKGROUND: Routine tuberculosis (TB) notifications are geographically heterogeneous, but their utility in predicting the location of undiagnosed TB cases is unclear. We aimed to identify small-scale geographic areas with high TB notification rates based on routinely collected data and to evaluate whether these areas have a correspondingly high rate of undiagnosed prevalent TB. METHODS: We used routinely collected data to identify geographic areas with high TB notification rates and evaluated the extent to which these areas correlated with the location of undiagnosed cases during a subsequent community-wide active case finding intervention in Kampala, Uganda. We first enrolled all adults who lived within 35 contiguous zones and were diagnosed through routine care at four local TB Diagnosis and Treatment Units. We calculated average monthly TB notification rates in each zone and defined geographic areas of "high risk" as zones that constituted the 20% of the population with highest notification rates. We compared the observed proportion of TB notifications among residents of these high-risk zones to the expected proportion, using simulated estimates based on population size and random variation alone. We then evaluated the extent to which these high-risk zones identified areas with high burdens of undiagnosed TB during a subsequent community-based active case finding campaign using a chi-square test. RESULTS: We enrolled 45 adults diagnosed with TB through routine practices and who lived within the study area (estimated population of 49 527). Eighteen zones reported no TB cases in the 9-month period; among the remaining zones, monthly TB notification rates ranged from 3.9 to 39.4 per 100 000 population. The five zones with the highest notification rates constituted 62% (95% CI: 47-75%) of TB cases and 22% of the population-significantly higher than would be expected if population size and random chance were the only determinants of zone-to-zone variation (48%, 95% simulation interval: 40-59%). These five high-risk zones accounted for 42% (95% CI: 34-51%) of the 128 cases detected during the subsequent community-based case finding intervention, which was significantly higher than the 22% expected by chance (P < 0.001) but lower than the 62% of cases notified from those zones during the pre-intervention period (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial heterogeneity in routine TB notification rates at the zone level. Using facility-based TB notification rates to prioritize high-yield areas for active case finding could double the yield of such case-finding interventions.
Longitudinal analysis of alcohol use and intimate partner violence perpetration among men with HIV in northern Vietnam. (2020). Hershow RB., Reyes HLM., Ha TV., Chander G., Mai NVT., Sripaipan T., Frangakis C., Dowdy DW., Latkin C., Hutton HE., Pettifor A., Maman S., Go VF, Drug and alcohol dependence, 213, 108098
BACKGROUND: Alcohol use is a known risk factor for male-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV), although few studies have been conducted globally and among men with HIV (MWH). We estimated the longitudinal effects of alcohol use on IPV perpetration among MWH. METHODS: This study is a secondary analysis of randomized controlled trial data among male and female antiretroviral treatment patients with hazardous alcohol use in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. Analyses were restricted to male participants who were married/cohabitating (N = 313). Alcohol use was assessed as proportion days alcohol abstinent, heavy drinking, and alcohol use disorder (AUD) using the Timeline Followback and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview questionnaire. Multilevel modeling was used to estimate the effects of higher versus lower average alcohol use on IPV perpetration (between-person effects) and the effects of time-specific deviations in alcohol use on IPV perpetration (within-person effects). RESULTS: Participants with higher average proportion days alcohol abstinent had decreased odds of IPV perpetration (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] = 0.43, p = 0.03) and those with higher average heavy drinking and AUD had increased odds of IPV perpetration (Heavy drinking: aOR = 1.05, p = 0.002; AUD: aOR = 4.74, p < 0.0001). Time-specific increases in proportion days alcohol abstinent were associated with decreased odds of IPV perpetration (aOR = 0.39, p = 0.02) and time-specific increases in AUD were associated with increased odds of IPV perpetration (aOR = 2.95, p = 0.001). Within-person effects for heavy drinking were non-significant. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol use is associated with IPV perpetration among Vietnamese men with HIV. In this context, AUD and frequent drinking are stronger correlates of IPV perpetration as compared to heavy drinking.
Towards evidence-based integration of services for HIV, non-communicable diseases and substance use: insights from modelling. (2020). Dowdy DW., Powers KA., Hallett TB, Journal of the International AIDS Society, 23 Suppl 1, e25525
Integrated screening and treatment services for HIV, hypertension and diabetes in Kenya: assessing the epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness from a national and regional perspective. (2020). Kasaie P., Weir B., Schnure M., Dun C., Pennington J., Teng Y., Wamai R., Mutai K., Dowdy D., Beyrer C, Journal of the International AIDS Society, 23 Suppl 1, e25499
INTRODUCTION: As people with HIV age, prevention and management of other communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will become increasingly important. Integration of screening and treatment for HIV and NCDs is a promising approach for addressing the dual burden of these diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of a community-wide integrated programme for screening and treatment of HIV, hypertension and diabetes in Kenya. METHODS: Coupling a microsimulation of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) with a population-based model of HIV dynamics (the Spectrum), we created a hybrid HIV/CVD model. Interventions were modelled from year 2019 (baseline) to 2023, and population was followed to 2033. Analyses were carried at a national level and for three selected regions (Nairobi, Coast and Central). RESULTS: At a national level, the model projected 7.62 million individuals living with untreated hypertension, 692,000 with untreated diabetes and 592,000 individuals in need of ART in year 2018. Improving ART coverage from 68% at baseline to 88% in 2033 reduced HIV incidence by an estimated 64%. Providing NCD treatment to 50% of diagnosed cases from 2019 to 2023 and maintaining them on treatment afterwards could avert 116,000 CVD events and 43,600 CVD deaths in Kenya over the next 15 years. At a regional level, the estimated impact of expanded HIV services was highest in Nairobi region (averting 42,100 HIV infections compared to baseline) while Central region experienced the highest impact of expanded NCD treatment (with a reduction of 22,200 CVD events). The integrated HIV/NCD intervention could avert 7.76 million disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs) over 15 years at an estimated cost of $6.68 billion ($445.27 million per year), or $860.30 per DALY averted. At a cost-effectiveness threshold of $2,010 per DALY averted, the probability of cost-effectiveness was 0.92, ranging from 0.71 in Central to 0.92 in Nairobi region. CONCLUSIONS: Integrated screening and treatment of HIV and NCDs can be a cost-effective and impactful approach to save lives of people with HIV in Kenya, although important variation exists at the regional level. Containing the substantial costs required for scale-up will be critical for management of HIV and NCDs on a national scale.
The public health response to COVID-19: balancing precaution and unintended consequences. (2020). Baral SD., Mishra S., Diouf D., Phanuphak N., Dowdy D, Annals of epidemiology, 46, 12-13
Is distance associated with tuberculosis treatment outcomes? A retrospective cohort study in Kampala, Uganda. (2020). Robsky KO., Hughes S., Kityamuwesi A., Kendall EA., Kitonsa PJ., Dowdy DW., Katamba A, BMC infectious diseases, 20, 406
BACKGROUND: Challenges accessing nearby health facilities may be a barrier to initiating and completing tuberculosis (TB) treatment. We aimed to evaluate whether distance from residence to health facility chosen for treatment is associated with TB treatment outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients initiating TB treatment at six health facilities in Kampala from 2014 to 2016. We investigated associations between distance to treating facility and unfavorable TB treatment outcomes (death, loss to follow up, or treatment failure) using multivariable Poisson regression. RESULTS: Unfavorable treatment outcomes occurred in 20% (339/1691) of TB patients. The adjusted relative risk (aRR) for unfavorable treatment outcomes (compared to treatment success) was 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70, 1.07) for patients living ≥2 km from the facility compared to those living closer. When we separately compared each type of unfavorable treatment outcome to favorable outcomes, those living ≥2 km from the facility had increased risk of death (aRR 1.42 [95%CI 0.99, 2.03]) but decreased risk for loss to follow-up (aRR 0.57 [95%CI 0.41, 0.78]) than those living within 2 km. CONCLUSIONS: Distance from home residence to TB treatment facility is associated with increased risk of death but decreased risk of loss to follow up. Those who seek care further from home may have advanced disease, but once enrolled may be more likely to remain in treatment.
Measuring Stigma to Assess the Social Justice Implications of Health-Related Policy Decisions: Application to Novel Treatment Regimens for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis. (2020). Dowdy DW., Zwerling AA., Stennett A., Searle A., Dukhanin V., Taylor HA., Merritt MW, MDM policy & practice, 5, 2381468320915239
In making policy decisions with constrained resources, an important consideration is the impact of alternative policy options on social justice. Social justice considers interactions between individuals and society and can be conceptualized across domains of agency, association, and respect. Despite its importance, social justice is rarely considered formally in health policy decision making, partially reflecting challenges in its measurement. We define three criteria for considering social justice in health-related policy decisions: 1) linkage of social justice to a measurable construct; 2) ability to reproducibly and feasibly estimate the impacts of a policy decision on the selected construct; and 3) appropriate presentation to decision makers of the expected social justice implications using that construct. We use preliminary data from qualitative interviews from three groups of respondents in South Africa and Uganda to demonstrate that stigma meets the first of these criteria. We then use the example of policy addressing novel treatment regimens for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and a validated tuberculosis stigma scale to illustrate how policy effects on stigma could be estimated (criterion 2) and presented to decision makers in the form of justice-enhanced cost-effectiveness analysis (criterion 3). Finally, we provide a point-by-point guide for conducting similar assessments to facilitate consideration of social justice in health-related policy decisions. Our case study and guide for how to make social justice impacts more apparent to decision makers also illustrates the importance of local data and local capacity. Performing social justice assessments alongside more traditional evaluations of cost-effectiveness, budget impact, and burden of disease could help represent data-informed considerations of social justice in health care decision making more broadly.
Secure Delivery of HIV-Related and Tuberculosis Laboratory Results to Patient Cell Phones: A Pilot Comparative Study. (2020). DiAndreth L., Jarrett BA., Elf JL., Nishath T., Donville B., Heidari O., Cox S., Moreton J., Ramnath A., Lebina L., Variava E., Golub JE., Martinson NA, AIDS and behavior, 24, 3511-3521
South Africa processes 5.1 million HIV CD4, viral load (VL), and tuberculosis (TB) tests annually. This pilot non-randomized trial in South Africa explored an intervention ("MatlaMobile") to deliver laboratory results via mobile phone. Adults completing CD4, VL, and/or TB laboratory tests were enrolled-either receiving results by returning to clinic (control, n = 174) or mobile phone (intervention, n = 226). Study staff instructed control participants to return within 6 days (standard-of-care). MatlaMobile instructed intervention participants with clinically actionable results requiring intervention or treatment change (i.e., < 200 CD4 cells per milliliter, ≥ 400 viral copies per milliliter, or TB positive) to return immediately. A greater proportion of intervention participants than controls saw their results within 7 days of enrollment (73% vs. 8.6%, p < 0.001). Among participants instructed to return, more intervention participants (20%, n = 14/70) returned than controls (8.6%, n = 15/174, p = 0.02). MatlaMobile demonstrated that patients can quickly receive and respond appropriately to digital delivery of health information.
Prevalence of Pre-Existing Hearing Loss Among Patients With Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in South Africa. (2020). Hong H., Dowdy DW., Dooley KE., Francis HW., Budhathoki C., Han HR., Farley JE, American journal of audiology, 29, 199-205
Purpose Hearing loss, resulting from aminoglycoside ototoxicity, is common among patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). Those with pre-existing hearing loss are at particular risk of clinically important hearing loss with aminoglycoside-containing treatment than those with normal hearing at baseline. This study aimed to identify factors associated with pre-existing hearing loss among patients being treated for DR-TB in South Africa. Method Cross-sectional analysis nested within a cluster-randomized trial data across 10 South African TB hospitals. Patients ≥ 13 years old received clinical and audiological evaluations before DR-TB treatment initiation. Results Of 936 patients, average age was 35 years. One hundred forty-two (15%) reported pre-existing auditory symptoms. Of 482 patients tested by audiometry, 290 (60%) had pre-existing hearing loss. The prevalence of pre-existing hearing loss was highest among patients ≥ 50 years (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPrR] for symptoms 5.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) [3.63, 8.42]; aPrR for audiometric hearing loss 1.63, 95% CI [1.31, 2.03] compared to age 13-18 years) and among those with a prior history of second-line TB treatment (aPrR for symptoms 1.73, 95% CI [1.66, 1.80]; PrR for audiometric hearing loss 1.33, 95% CI [1.03, 1.73]). Having HIV with cluster of differentiation 4 cell count < 200 cells/mm(3) and malnutrition were risk factors but did not reach statistical significance in adjusted analyses. Conclusion Pre-existing hearing loss is common among patients presenting for DR-TB treatment in South Africa, and those older than the age of 50 years or who had prior second-line TB treatment history were at highest risk.
Priorities among HIV-positive individuals for tuberculosis preventive therapies. (2020). Kim HY., Hanrahan CF., Dowdy DW., Martinson NA., Golub JE., Bridges JFP, The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 24, 396-402
BACKGROUND: There has been slow uptake of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) among people living with HIV (PLWH).METHODS: We surveyed adults recently diagnosed with HIV in 14 South African primary health clinics. Based on the literature and qualitative interviews, sixteen potential barriers and facilitators related to preventive therapy among PLWH were selected. Best-worst scaling (BWS) was used to quantify the relative importance of the attributes. BWS scores were calculated based on the frequency of participants' selecting each attribute as the best or worst among six options (across multiple choice sets) and rescaled from 0 (always selected as worst) to 100 (always selected as best) and compared by currently receiving IPT or not.RESULTS: Among 342 patients surveyed, 33% (n = 114) were currently taking IPT. Having the same standard of life as someone without HIV was most highly prioritized (BWS score = 67.3, SE = 0.6), followed by trust in healthcare providers (score, 66.3 ± 0.6). Poor standard of care in public clinics (score, 30.6 ± 0.6) and side effects of medications (score, 33.7 ± 0.6) were least prioritized. BWS scores differed by IPT status for few attributes, but overall ranking was similar (spearman's rho = 0.9).CONCLUSION: Perceived benefits of preventive therapy were high among PLWH. IPT prescription by healthcare providers should be encouraged to enhance IPT uptake among PLWH.