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PLoS One. 2016 Apr 7;11(4):e0153042. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153042. eCollection 2016.

"We Are Now Free to Speak": Qualitative Evaluation of an Education and Empowerment Training for HIV Patients in Namibia.

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PATH, Reproductive Health Program, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington Department of Global Health, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
Namibia Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Windhoek, Namibia.
International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia.


Although numerous studies provide evidence that active patient engagement with health care providers improves critical outcomes such as medication adherence, very few of these have been done in low resource settings. In Namibia, patient education and empowerment trainings were conducted in four antiretroviral (ART) clinics to increase patient engagement during patient-provider interactions. This qualitative study supplements findings from a randomized controlled trial, by analyzing data from 10 in-depth patient interviews and 94 training evaluation forms. A blended approach of deductive and inductive coding was used to understand training impact. Findings indicated the trainings increased patients' self-efficacy through a combination of improved HIV-related knowledge, greater communication skills and enhanced ability to overcome complex psychosocial barriers, such as fear of speaking up to providers. This study suggests patient empowerment training may be a powerful method to engage HIV patients in their own care and treatment.

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