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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Dec 1;43 Suppl 1:S134-41.

Modified directly observed therapy to facilitate highly active antiretroviral therapy adherence in Beira, Mozambique. Development and implementation.

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  • 1Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-1525, USA.


As resource-limited countries expand access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) treatment, innovative programs are needed to support adherence in the context of significant health system barriers. Modified directly observed therapy (mDOT) is one such strategy, but little is known about the process of designing and implementing mDOT programs for HAART in resource-limited settings. In this descriptive study, we used a mixed-methods approach to describe the process of implementing mDOT for an ongoing randomized control trial (RCT) in Beira, Mozambique. Interviews with clinic staff, mDOT peers, and participants provided information on design elements, problems with implementation, satisfaction, and benefits. Acceptability and feasibility measures were obtained from the RCT. Most (81%, N = 350) eligible persons agreed to participate, and of those randomized to mDOT (n = 174), 95% reported that their time with peers was beneficial. On average, participants kept 93% of the 30 required daily mDOT visits. Key components of the intervention's success included using peers who were well accepted by clinic staff, adequate training and retention of peers, adapting daily visit requirements to participants' work schedules and physical conditions, and reimbursing costs of transportation. This study identified aspects of mDOT that are effective and can be adopted by other clinics treating HIV patients.

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