When are patients lost to follow-up in pre-antiretroviral therapy care? a retrospective assessment of patients in an Ethiopian rural hospital
AuthorShaweno, T; Shaweno, D
Source TitleInfectious Diseases of Poverty
University of Melbourne Author/sAdewo, Debebe Shaweno
AffiliationMedicine and Radiology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsShaweno, T. & Shaweno, D. (2015). When are patients lost to follow-up in pre-antiretroviral therapy care? a retrospective assessment of patients in an Ethiopian rural hospital. INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF POVERTY, 4 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-015-0056-y.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: There is concern about the increasing rates of loss to follow-up (LTFU) among pre-antiretroviral therapy (pre-ART) patients in Ethiopia. Little information is available regarding the time when pre-ART patients are lost to follow-up in the country. This study assessed the time when LTFU occurs as well as the associated factors among adults enrolled in pre-ART care in an Ethiopian rural hospital. METHODS: Data of all adult pre-ART patients enrolled at the Sheka Zonal Hospital between 2010 and 2013 were reviewed. Patients were considered lost to follow-up if they failed to keep scheduled appointments for more than 90 days. The Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to assess factors associated with time until LTFU. The Kaplan-Meier survival table was used to compare the LTFU experiences of patients, segregated by significant predictors. RESULTS: A total of 626 pre-ART patients were followed for 319.92 person-years of observation (PYOs) from enrolment to pre-ART outcomes, with an overall LTFU rate of 55.8 per 100 PYOs. A total of 178 (28.4%) pre-ART patients were lost to follow-up, 93% of which occurred within the first six months. The median follow-up time was 6.13 months. The independent predictors included: not having been started on co-trimoxazole prophylaxis (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 1.77, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.79), a baseline CD4 count of or above 350 cells/mm3 (AHR = 1.87, 95%CI, 1.02-3.45), and an undisclosed HIV status (AHR = 3.04, 95%CI, 2.07-4.45). CONCLUSION: A significant proportion of pre-ART patients is lost to follow-up. Not having been started on co-trimoxazole prophylaxis, presenting to care with a baseline CD4 cell count ≥350 cells/mm(3), and an undisclosed HIV status were significant predictors of LTFU among pre-ART patients. Thus, close monitoring and tracking of patients during this period is highly recommended. Those patients with identified risk factors deserve special attention.
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