Patients With HIV Willing to Travel, Wait Longer to Access Nice Providers

The study's findings show that patients with HIV will forgo short travel distances and wait times in order to access a health care provider with a positive attitude.

It’s no secret that empathy and positivity go a long way. Now, new research points to these attributes having far reaching effects in healthcare and adherence to care, specifically for patients with HIV. The study's findings go as far as showing that patients with HIV will forgo short travel distances and wait times in order to access a healthcare provider with a positive attitude.

These findings not only reveal the value of a nice attitude, it also opens the door toward understanding what people want from health services in resource-limited settings, which has implications for addressing the challenge of engaging patients with HIV in their care, the researchers note.

In order to sustain engagement with these patients, healthcare providers have implemented several strategies, such as reducing visit frequency and expanding hours of operation, but as most of these providers are in resource-limited environments, they cannot implement all strategies simultaneously. However, information on what to prioritize has remained unknown so far.

For their present study, the researchers identified a group of 280 HIV patients who were lost to follow-up, defined as over 90 days late for their last scheduled appointment. Based on initial interviews, researchers identified emergent themes of barriers, including: waiting time at the clinic (1, 3, or 5 hours), distance from residence to clinic (3, 6, or 12 miles), antiretroviral therapy supply given at each refill (1, 3, and 5 months), hours of operation (morning only, morning and afternoon, or morning and Saturday), and staff attitude (“rude” or “nice”).

Click to continue reading on The American Journal of Managed Care.