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Characrteristics of adult patients who are lost to follow up from art programme and reasons for it- a study at central karnataka, india

Authors:Mamatha S Kusagur
Int J Biol Med Res. 2013; 4(3): 3575-3378  |  PDF File


Background: Defaulting from Anti-Retroviral Treatment(ART) possess serious consequences to the patient as well on the public health. Especially those patients who are Lost to Follow Up(LFU) require special attention. Aims: To study the characteristics of adult patients who were Lost to Follow Up and to determine the reason for the same. Methods: Between January 2012 and March 2012, 85 adult patients were Lost to Follow Up ie, did not come back to collect ART medication for at-least 3 months from last visit. Such patient’s charts at the clinic were reviewed. The patients were traced initially over telephone, if could not be contacted then visiting their place of residence, and were asked the reasons for non-attendance. Results: Out of 85 adult LFU patients- 45(52.94%) belonged to age group of 31-45 yrs, 48(56.47%) were men, 38(44.70%) had received no formal education, 55(64.70%) were from rural areas and 56(65.88%) were unemployed. The reasons for their loss to follow up were- 7 (8.23%) had died, the major reasons for default among the 78 alive patients were financial constraints in 28(32.94%), loss of faith in treatment in 19(22.35%), drug related factors in 12(14.11%), transferred out to another ART clinic in 9(10.58%) and untraceable in 10(11.76%). Conclusion: The major reasons for defaulting were social factors unrelated to treatment regimen. Hence it prudent to consider these social factors for ensuring adherence to ART, and thus prevent emergence and transmission of drug-resistant virus strains.