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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title Internet and cell phone as tools to support antiretroviral therapy adherence among HIV infected patients aged above 18 years attending Kenyatta national hospital
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://ir.jkuat.ac.ke/bitstream/handle/123456789/1784/KINYUA, FLORENCE MUTHONI-MSC PUBLIC​HEALTH-2015.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Abstract
World Health Organisation has been advocating for increased provision of Antiretroviral
Therapy (ART) to lower Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence. Embracing
the advocacy Kenya increased its ART coverage tremendously with adults receiving it
increasing from 70.4 % in the year 2009 to 85% in the year 2013. This intervention has
however been facing challenge of adherence failure among the HIV infected patients
necessitating need for an intervention to support adherence to medication for successful
control and prevention of HIV-related mortality. Previous randomized trial in Kenya on
tools for improved adherence reported increased self-reported adherence by 12%. Observational survey on accessibility, usage and perceptions of HIV infected patients
towards internet and cell phones is still missing. A descriptive cross-sectional study was
conducted at Kenyatta Nation Hospital with main objective to assess the accessibility,
usage and perceptions of HIV infected patients towards internet and cell phones as tools
for supporting adherence to medication. The data was collected using semi-structured
questionnaires administered to HIV infected patients on treatment. Data was analysed
using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Version 16.0 for chi-squared test to
establish Odds Ratios and 95% Confidence Interval for factors associated with cell
phone and internet access and perceptions towards their use as a tools to support ARV
adherence. This study was presented to Scientific Steering Committee and Ethical
Review Committee at Kenya Medical Research Institute for Scientific and ethical
approval respectively. Participants provided their consent by signing an informed
consent form prior to their participation in the study. The main findings were 33% of
participants with access to internet and 99% with access to cell phone. Majority of those
with cell phone access used it for communication (49%) and money transactions (43%)
while majority of those with internet access used it for communication via social
networks (40%). Nearly all (99%) of the HIV infected clients interviewed supported the
idea of cell phone use in improving adherence to their medication. Majority (98%) of the
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respondents reported that internet was not a feasible tool in supporting ARV adherence
due to its high cost of maintenance and use. The study concluded that there was higher
accessibility of the participants to cell phone than internet and the high usage of cell
phones for communication through calling and texting, while high usage of internet for
communication through social media networks. Cell phone was identified as a feasible
tool for supporting adherence to ARV therapy due to its affordability and easy access.
The study therefore recommends adoption of cell phone into health care sector to boost
medication adherence.

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