Enhancing Lay Counselor Capacity to Improve Patient Outcomes with Multimedia Technology

Robbins, Reuben; Mellins, Claude; Leu, Cheng Shiun; Rowe, Jessica C.; Warne, Patricia; Abrams, Elaine J.; Witte, Susan S.; Stein, Dan; Remien, Robert Howard

Multimedia technologies offer powerful tools to increase capacity of health workers to deliver standardized, effective, and engaging antiretroviral medication adherence counseling. Masivukeni—is an innovative multimedia-based, computer-driven, lay counselor-delivered intervention designed to help people living with HIV in resource-limited settings achieve optimal adherence. This pilot study examined medication adherence and key psychosocial outcomes among 55 non-adherent South African HIV+ patients, on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least 6 months, who were randomized to receive either Masivukeni or standard of care (SOC) counseling for ART non-adherence. At baseline, there were no significant differences between the SOC and Masivukeni groups on any outcome variables. At post-intervention (approximately 5–6 weeks after baseline), -clinic-based pill count adherence data available for 20 participants (10 per intervention arm) showed a 10 % improvement for—participants and a decrease of 8 % for SOC participants. Masivukeni participants reported significantly more positive attitudes towards disclosure and medication social support, less social rejection, and better clinic–patient relationships than did SOC participants. Masivukeni shows promise to promote optimal adherence and provides preliminary evidence that multimedia, computer-based technology can help lay counselors offer better adherence counseling than standard approaches.


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AIDS and Behavior