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Predictors of loss to follow-up in antiretroviral treatment for adult patients in the Oromia region, Ethiopia

Authors Megerso A, Garoma S, Eticha T, Workineh T, Daba S, Tarekegn M, Habtamu Z

Received 12 October 2015

Accepted for publication 14 January 2016

Published 26 April 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 83—92


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Abebe Megerso,1 Sileshi Garoma,1 Tolosa Eticha,2 Tilaye Workineh,1 Shallo Daba,3 Mihretu Tarekegn,3 Zelalem Habtamu3

1Department of Public Health, Adama Hospital Medical College,2Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Adama Hospital Medical College, 3Oromia Regional Health Bureau, HIV/AIDS prevention and Control Division, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Purpose: It is known that antiretroviral treatment (ART) reduces mortality from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome related causes. Patient's lost to follow-up (LTFU) in this treatment poses a paramount problem to the public and health care services. Information on predictors of loss to follow-up is scarce in this study area and similar settings. Therefore, this study aimed at identifying correlates of loss to follow-up in ART among adult patients in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
Methods: A case–control study was conducted between February 2015 and April 2015 using medical records. The stratified sampling technique was used to select health facilities. The number of patient records to be included in the study was proportionally allocated to each stratum based on their patient proportion in the regional data. Specific health facilities from which to include the records were randomly selected from a list of the health facilities per stratum. All adult patient records registered as LTFU (416) in the selected health facilities during the 12-month period prior to the data collection date, and 832 patients with good adherence to ART were included. Data were double-entered into Epi Info 7 and analyzed using SPSS 20. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used to report the results. Qualitative data were thematically analyzed using open code computer software.
Results: Age 15–24 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 19.82 95% CI: 6.80, 57.73); day laborers (AOR, 5.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.23, 8.89), rural residents (AOR, 2.35; 95% CI: 1.45, 3.89), World Health Organization clinical stage IV (AOR, 2.29; 95% CI: 1.45, 3.62), baseline CD4 <350 cells/mL (AOR, 2.06; 95% CI: 1.36, 3.13), suboptimal adherence to ART (AOR, 7.42; 95% CI: 1.87, 29.41), were factors which increased the risk of loss to follow-up in ART.
Conclusion: Multiple risk factors, both socioeconomic and clinical, were associated with loss to follow-up. Attention is required to address these factors during patient preparation for the treatment and follow-up counseling by practitioners. We recommend that other studies identify what happened to the patients registered as LTFU as the current study could not address this issue.

Keywords: ART, lost to follow-up, adult, associated factors, case control, Oromia region

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