• Factors associated with low tuberculosis preventive therapy prescription rates among health care workers in rural South Africa

      Ahmed, Amiya A; Grammatico, Megan; Moll, Anthony P; Malinga, Sipho; Makhunga, Philile; Charalambous, Salome; Ladines-Lim, Joseph B; Jones, Justin; Choi, Koeun; Shenoi, Sheela V (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2021-10-15)
      Background: Despite extensive rollout of tuberculosis preventive therapy (TPT) in South Africa to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis among people living with HIV (PWH), rates of initiation and completion have remained suboptimal. Objective: This study aimed to identify factors associated with low TPT prescription rates among health care workers (HCWs) in rural South Africa. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using an anonymous 39-item questionnaire guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). HCWs from a government district hospital and 14 primary healthcare clinics (PHCs) in the rural Msinga sub-district of KwaZulu-Natal were surveyed from November 2019 to January 2020. Self-reported data on prescription rates as well as knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices regarding isoniazid preventative therapy, the current TPT regimen, were obtained. Factor analysis and logistic regression were used to determine associations with low prescription rates (< 50% of PWH) for TPT prescribers, and results were placed within CFIR-driven context. Results: Among 160 HCWs, the median (IQR) age was 39 (33-46) years, 76% were women, 78% worked at a PHC, and 44% had experience prescribing TPT. On multivariable analysis, prescribers (n = 71) who believed their patients would not disclose TPT use to others were significantly less likely to prescribe TPT (aOR 4.19 95% CI 1.35-13.00; p = 0.01). Inadequate isoniazid supplies trended towards significance (aOR 10.10 95% CI 0.95-106.92; p = 0.06) in association with low prescription rates. Conclusions: Strengthening HCW training to emphasize TPT prescription to all eligible PWH regardless of beliefs about patient disclosure and ensuring a consistent isoniazid supply at the health systems-level are both critical steps to enhancing TPT implementation in rural South Africa.
    • Improvements in Health Might Contradict Adherence to Mobile Health Interventions: Findings from a Self-Care Cancer App Study

      Siebenhuner, A.R.; Mikolasek, M.; Witt, C.M.; Barth, J. (Mary Ann Liebert Inc., 2021-03-31)
      Background: Cancer patients often suffer from high levels of distress. Mobile health (mHealth) applications might be an innovative way to deliver mindfulness and relaxation interventions for cancer patients. However, data about the implementation of apps in health care are lacking. Adherence to mHealth interventions is an important indicator for a successful implementation and might be needed to maximize treatment effects. However, the decrease in distress might reduce the motivation of patients to engage in such self-care tools in the long run. Therefore, the aim of this analysis was to investigate the association between the course of distress over time and the adherence to a relaxation self-care app in cancer patients. Methods: We developed an app for cancer patients (CanRelax) and 83 patients who participated in the prospective observational study used the app at least once. The evaluation was guided by the RE-AIM framework, and this analysis focused on the implementation of the app. Patients were grouped into five subgroups according to their course of distress over 10 weeks (Distress Thermometer). These subgroups of patients were compared with each other to identify different user groups. Findings: About half of the patients were adherent over 10 weeks. However, a decrease in distress was associated with lower adherence to the app intervention, whereas patients with moderate distress or an increase in distress showed more adherence. Conclusion: Adherence to an app intervention might be also driven by patients' distress level. A decrease in distress might reduce patients' motivation to continue with a self-care intervention. The interplay between adherence and treatment outcomes should be explored in upcoming mHealth trials to get a better understanding for the implementation of such interventions. Encouraging patients to continue self-care interventions is a major challenge in integrative medicine if they are delivered digitally.
    • A Protocol for a Comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Framework With a Compendium of Tools to Assess Quality of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Implementation Using Mixed Methods, Developmental Evaluation Design

      Ghosh, Smita; Roth, Brenna M; Massawe, Irene; Mtete, Emmanuel; Lusekelo, Jacob; Pinsker, Eve; Seweryn, Steven; Moonan, Patrick K; Struminger, Bruce B (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-09-21)
      Introduction: The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), supports a third of all people receiving HIV care globally. CDC works with local partners to improve methods to find, treat, and prevent HIV and tuberculosis. However, a shortage of trained medical professionals has impeded efforts to control the HIV epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHOTM) model expands capacity to manage complex diseases, share knowledge, disseminate best practices, and build communities of practice. This manuscript describes a practical protocol for an evaluation framework and toolkit to assess ECHO implementation. Methods and Analysis: This mixed methods, developmental evaluation design uses an appreciative inquiry approach, and includes a survey, focus group discussion, semi-structured key informant interviews, and readiness assessments. In addition, ECHO session content will be objectively reviewed for accuracy, content validity, delivery, appropriateness, and consistency with current guidelines. Finally, we offer a mechanism to triangulate data sources to assess acceptability and feasibility of the evaluation framework and compendium of monitoring and evaluation tools. Expected impact of the study on public health: This protocol offers a unique approach to engage diverse group of stakeholders using an appreciative inquiry process to co-create a comprehensive evaluation framework and a compendium of assessment tools. This evaluation framework utilizes mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative data collection tools), was pilot tested in Tanzania, and has the potential for contextualized use in other countries who plan to evaluate their Project ECHO implementation.