According to new research that was published in AIDS and Behavior in January 2022, having an understanding of patient experiences and expectations in addition to individual life stressors in the clinical setting may improve overall outcomes. Despite considerable improvements in antiviral therapies, the investigators of the study stated that retention in HIV is still a barrier to bringing an end to the HIV epidemic.
In the study, investigators looked at 450 patients who were attending an HIV clinic in Houston, Texas, who were asked to fill out a survey after their visit regarding their experience with the HIV healthcare provider and personal life stressors in the prior 6 months. It was found that those who had reported better initial experience with their providers were less likely to be lost to follow up at 6 and 12 months, and those who reported more stressful life events were more likely to be lost to follow up at 6 and 12 months. The assessment of life stressors and patient experience at first visit may be able to predict which patients are at risk for dropping out of care.