HIV: Positive lessons from home-based care

Jan 19, 2010

Intensive home-based nursing in HIV/AIDS patients significantly improves self-reported knowledge of HIV, awareness of medications, and self-reported adherence to medication programmes, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. One home-based care trial included in the review also significantly impacted on HIV stigma, worry, and physical functioning. It did not, however, help improve depressive symptoms, mood, general health, and overall functioning.

These conclusions are interesting, but more research is needed to understand the impact of home-based care in developing countries and on important disease outcomes, say the researchers. The study represents the first systematic review of the impact of home care in /AIDS.

As a disease that affects 33 million people, HIV/AIDS puts a huge strain on health systems, particularly in developing countries. Therefore, in countries where health services are overstretched, home-based care is offered to HIV patients as an alternative to hospital care. Home-based care can include counselling, medical management, exercise, and spiritual support to try to improve patients' quality of life in familiar surroundings, while reducing costs and pressure on hospital beds.

Researchers examined data from 13 studies, two of which were ongoing. The researchers report that home-based care has positive impacts on some aspects of patient wellbeing but little effect on others. Patients said that home care improved their knowledge of the disease, and of HIV medications, and helped them adhere to medication programmes. It also reduced worry and improved physical functions of patients, but had little effect on depression, general health, or indicators of disease progression such as CD4 counts.

Importantly, few studies considered the effects of home-based care in developing countries or on important disease outcomes. "Further large studies are needed to evaluate the effects of home-based care in developing countries, where HIV and AIDS take the biggest toll," said Young. "And there should be a greater focus on how home-based care impacts on progression to full blown and death from the disease."

"This study is a useful addition to the literature because of the wide range of home care options considered. However, there is no doubt that the evidence base for home-based care in HIV needs further development."

Explore further: Research informs HIV treatment policy for inmates

Related Stories

Testing times: Detecting HIV in resource-limited settings

Nov 29, 2007

Integrating HIV testing programmes into primary medical care can help achieve early diagnosis of HIV infection, even in relatively poor areas, research published in the online open access journal AIDS Research and Therapy ...

Researchers urge integrating TB into HIV care

Jul 22, 2008

In resource-limited settings where tuberculosis is a major cause of mortality among HIV patients and where a multidrug-resistant TB epidemic is emerging, researchers are pressing for approaches to integrate TB prevention ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.