Integrating HIV treatment with primary care outpatient services: opportunities and challenges from a scaled-up model in Zambia

Topp, Stephanie M., Chipukuma, Julien M., Chiko, Matimba M., Matongo, Evelyn, Bolton-Moore, Carolyn, and Reid, Stewart E. (2013) Integrating HIV treatment with primary care outpatient services: opportunities and challenges from a scaled-up model in Zambia. Health Policy and Planning, 28 (4). pp. 347-357.

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Abstract

Background: Integration of HIV treatment with other primary care services has been argued to potentially improve effectiveness, efficiency and equity. However, outside the field of reproductive health, there is limited empirical evidence regarding the scope or depth of integrated HIV programmes or their relative benefits. Moreover,the body of work describing operational models of integrated service-delivery in context remains thin. Between 2008 and 2011, the Lusaka District Health Management Team piloted and scaled-up a model of integrated HIV and general outpatient department (OPD) services in 12 primary health care clinics. This paper examines the effect of the integrated model on the organization of clinic services, and explores service providers' perceptions of the integrated model.

Methods: We used a mixed methods approach incorporating facility surveys and key informant interviews with clinic managers and district officials. On-site facility surveys were carried out in 12 integrated facilities to collect data on the scope of integrated services, and 15 semi-structured interviews were carried out with 12 clinic managers and three district officials to explore strengths and weaknesses of the model. Quantitative and qualitative data were triangulated to inform overall analysis.

Findings: Implementation of the integrated model substantially changed the organization of service delivery across a range of clinic systems. Organizational and managerial advantages were identified, including more efficient use of staff time and clinic space, improved teamwork and accountability, and more equitable delivery of care to HIV and non-HIV patients. However, integration did not solve ongoing human resource shortages or inadequate infrastructure, which limited the efficacy of the model and were perceived to undermine service delivery.

Conclusion: While resource and allocative efficiencies are associated with this model of integration, a more important finding was the model's demonstrated potential for strengthening organizational culture and staff relationships, in turn facilitating more collaborative and motivated service delivery in chronically under-resourced primary healthcare clinics.

Item ID: 39592
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2237
Keywords: HIV and AIDS, integration, primary health care, service-delivery
Additional Information:

© The Author 2012; all rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP)
Projects and Grants: CDCP U62/CCU12354
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 01:37
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 60%
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