Format

Send to

Choose Destination
South Afr J HIV Med. 2019 Dec 18;20(1):984. doi: 10.4102/sajhivmed.v20i1.984. eCollection 2019.

Loss to follow-up from antiretroviral therapy clinics: A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies in South Africa from 2011 to 2015.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, United States.
2
Medical Care Development International, Maseru, Lesotho, South Africa.
3
School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
4
Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
5
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

Background:

South Africa has the largest antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme in the world. To optimise programme outcomes, it is critical that patients are retained in care and that retention is accurately measured.

Objectives:

To identify all studies published in South Africa from 2011 to 2015 that used loss to follow-up (LTFU) as an indicator or outcome to describe the variation in definitions and to estimate the proportion of patients lost to care across studies.

Method:

All studies published between 01 January 2011 and October 2015 that included loss to follow-up or default from ART care in a South African cohort were included by use of a broad search strategy across multiple databases. To be included, the cohort had to include any patient ART data, including follow-up time, from 01 January 2010. Two authors, working independently, extracted data and assessed risk of bias from all manuscripts. Meta-analysis was performed for studies stratified by the same loss to follow-up definition.

Results:

Forty-eight adult, 15 paediatric and 4 pregnant cohorts were included. Median cohort size was 3737; follow-up time ranged from 9 weeks to 5 years. Meta-analysis did not reveal an important difference in LTFU estimates in adult cohorts at 1 year between loss to follow-up defined as 3 months (11.0%, n = 4; 95% CI 10.7% - 11.2%) compared with 6 months (12.0%, n = 4; 95% CI 11.8% - 12.2%). Only two cohorts reported reliable LTFU estimates at 5 years: this was 25.1% (95% CI 24.8% - 25.4%).

Conclusion:

South Africa should standardise a LTFU definition. This would aid in monitoring and evaluation of ART programmes, with the broader goal of improving patient outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

HIV; South Africa; antiretroviral therapy (ART); disengagement; loss to follow-up

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center