Presentation Title

Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care of People Living with HIV

Abstract

Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care of People Living with HIV.

This study will explore how community pharmacists and linkage to care specialists in Wisconsin can leverage their roles to improve linking and retaining of people that are newly diagnosed with HIV. Although Wisconsin is a moderate to low HIV burden state, its health disparities in HIV care mirror the national data. Therefore, it is critical to leverage how readily available healthcare professionals can cater to people living with HIV within the communities.

Proposal Summary

There is an alarming rate of attrition at each step of the HIV care continuum: only 85% of those living with HIV have been diagnosed, 40% of those people have not been linked to care to access the treatment and support they need to stay healthy and reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus. HIV treatment is a lifelong process of receiving continuous care, known as retention in care, however, only 48% of people living with HIV are retained in care. Due to the epidemiological changes of HIV from an acute terminal condition to a chronic illness, more infected patients reside in the community rather than hospital settings. There is a need for exploring how pharmacists that practice naturally in community settings, can impact patient linkage and retention in care. Objective: To (I) Explore how community pharmacists can improve linkage and retention in care of people living with HIV and (II) Modify current model of HIV care for pharmacists to be community pharmacist-specific and target gaps in the HIV care continuum. Theoretical Framework: This study will use the Institute of Medicine (IOM) continuum of HIV care and supportive services framework, as well as the Theory of Change (TOC). The IOM framework maps the primary challenges to optimal health outcomes for patients living with HIV including delayed linkage to care and poor retention in care. Using the TOC we will extract components of the IOM that are addressed by linkage to care specialists and pharmacists independently and address aspects that can be collectively worked on interdisciplinary. The TOC is used in implementation sciences to map out an existing program and focus on filling in a missing piece of a program. Currently, linkage to care specialists and pharmacists in these areas work independently in the settings of the study. The IOM/TOC were used to create a conceptual framework for the qualitative interview questions. The TOC will be used to conduct the data analysis. Methods: We will conduct semi-structured interviews with 10 patients living with HIV, 10 community pharmacists, and 5 patient navigators residing in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, Madison, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Questions will explore the supports and services pharmacists can provide to compliment facilitators and address barriers to patient linkage and retention in care. We will analyze the data using conventional content analysis.

Relevance And Significance

This proposal is related to clinical research in HIV that focuses on access, retention, and care in rural communities and implementing chronic disease programs. This study will use a community-based research approach to gain in-depth knowledge from people living with HIV and community pharmacists on how community pharmacists can enhance linkage and retention in care. The knowledge gained will be used to create a pioneering interdisciplinary model of HIV care that targets specific gaps along the HIV care continuum using healthcare professionals within the community.

Session Format

Poster Session

Keywords

Community Pharmacists, HIV Care Continuum, Linkage to Care, Retention in Care

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 21st, 5:30 PM Sep 21st, 7:30 PM

Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care of People Living with HIV

Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care of People Living with HIV.

This study will explore how community pharmacists and linkage to care specialists in Wisconsin can leverage their roles to improve linking and retaining of people that are newly diagnosed with HIV. Although Wisconsin is a moderate to low HIV burden state, its health disparities in HIV care mirror the national data. Therefore, it is critical to leverage how readily available healthcare professionals can cater to people living with HIV within the communities.