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AIDS Care. 2009 Aug;21(8):992-9. doi: 10.1080/09540120802657506.

Feasibility of using audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI) screening in routine HIV care.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.


We evaluated the feasibility of implementing audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASI) as part of routine clinical care at two community hospital-based HIV clinics in New York City. Between June 2003 and August 2006, 215 patients completed 1001 ACASI sessions in English or Spanish prior to their scheduled clinical appointments. Topics covered included antiretroviral therapy adherence, depression symptoms, alcohol and drug use, and condom use. Patients and providers received feedback reports immediately after each session. Feasibility was evaluated by quantitative analysis of ACASI responses, medical chart reviews, a brief patient questionnaire administered at the conclusion of each computer session, patient focus groups, and semi-structured provider interviews. ACASI interviews frequently identified inadequate medication adherence and depression symptoms: at baseline, 31% of patients reported < or =95% adherence over the past three days and 52% had symptoms of depression (CES-D score > or =16). Substance abuse problems were identified less frequently. Patients were comfortable with the ACASI and appreciated it as an additional communication route with their providers; however, expectations about the level of communication achieved were sometimes higher than actual practice. Providers felt the summary feedback information was useful when received in a timely fashion and when they were familiar with the clinical indicators reported. Repeated ACASI sessions did not have a favorable impact on adherence, depression, or substance use outcomes. No improvements in HIV RNA suppression were observed in comparison to patients who did not participate in the study. We conclude that it is feasible to integrate an ACASI screening tool into routine HIV clinical care to identify patients with inadequate medication adherence and depression symptoms. Repeated screening was not associated with improved clinical outcomes. ACASI screening should be considered in HIV clinical care settings to assist providers in identifying patients with the greatest need for targeted psychosocial services including adherence support and depression care.

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