An intervention to optimise the delivery of integrated tuberculosis and HIV services at primary care clinics: results of the MERGE cluster randomised trial.
Kufa, T; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fielding, K L
Churchyard, G J
Grant, A D
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Contemporary clinical trials, volume 72, page 43-52
To evaluate the effect of an intervention to optimize TB/HIV integration on patient outcomes. Cluster randomised control trial at 18 primary care clinics in South Africa. The intervention was placement of a nurse (TB/HIV integration officer) to facilitate provision of integrated TB/HIV services, and a lay health worker (TB screening officer) to facilitate TB screening for 24 months. Primary outcomes were i) incidence of hospitalisation/death among individuals newly diagnosed with HIV, ii) incidence of hospitalisation/death among individuals newly diagnosed with TB and iii) proportion of HIV-positive individuals newly diagnosed with TB who were retained in HIV care 12 months after enrolment. Of 3328 individuals enrolled, 3024 were in the HIV cohort, 731 in TB cohort and 427 in TB-HIV cohort. For the HIV cohort, the hospitalisation/death rate was 12.5 per 100 person-years (py) (182/1459py) in the intervention arm vs. 10.4/100py (147/1408 py) in the control arms respectively (Relative Risk (RR) 1.17 [95% CI 0.92-1.49]).For the TB cohort, hospitalisation/ death rate was 17.1/100 py (67/ 392py) vs. 11.1 /100py (32/289py) in intervention and control arms respectively (RR 1.37 [95% CI 0.78-2.43]). For the TB-HIV cohort, retention in care at 12 months was 63.0% (213/338) and 55.9% (143/256) in intervention and control arms (RR 1.11 [95% 0.89-1.38]). The intervention as implemented failed to improve patient outcomes beyond levels at control clinics. Effective strategies are needed to achieve better TB/HIV service integration and improve TB and HIV outcomes in primary care clinics. South African Register of Clinical Trials (registration number DOH-27-1011-3846). [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.]