Client Satisfaction Level in People living with HIV/AIDS in Punjab; A cross Sectional Study
Background; People diagnosed with HIV should be offered and linked to antiretroviral treatment (ART) as soon as possible following diagnosis and periodically monitored using clinical and laboratory parameters, including the test to measure virus in the blood (viral load). If antiretroviral treatment (ART) is not taken consistently, not only it has detrimental effects on HIV suppression but also increases threat of HIV transmission to others. Early initiation, adherence to treatment and compliance to appropriate protocols are largely associated to client’s satisfaction levels. In this study satisfaction level of clients receiving treatment services at treatment sites was determined. Comparison to different exposures that may have been the source of acquiring virus, the active treatment they are receiving at that point in time, associated co-morbidities and provision of treatment of co-morbidities, acquisition of sexual transmitted infection (STIs) and existing chronic diseases were also explored and analyzed.
Methodology; A cross-sectional study was conducted on 7007 HIV-positive patients who were followed-up, on treatment and who consulted in the HIV treatment centers of Punjab AIDS Control Program (PACP), between July 2020 and August 2021. Participant’s consent was sought and data was collected on client’s level of satisfaction to staff-patient-communication, staff attitudes, privacy & confidentiality, staffing and amenities situations in the hospital. Data was collected using a structured self-administered questionnaire by trained health personnel. Collected data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 and clients’ satisfaction was measured using frequencies and percentages. For association chi square test was applied and check significance at p-value less then 0.05.
Results:The extremely low levels of satisfaction observed in staff attitude towards clients 30.45%, staffing 17.8% and amenities situation of the treatment centers 19.0% for medicine and 30.4% for waiting areas. Higher levels of satisfaction in staff-patient-communication 91.7% (doctor discussing treatment protocols) and low level 60.1% where clients are able to inform about missed pills. The proportion of clients satisfied in terms of collective general treatment services offered in these centers, was merely 40.0%. Significant association between gender and drug mode of administration at p-value .000.
Conclusions: The results reiterate the need for health workers to improve their attitudes towards clients, improved level of communication with clients, the need to train and employ more personnel to cater for clients and the need to build better, secure and comfortable care facilities.
Low level of satisfaction noticed in provision of complete medicine for HIV requires attention of program director for ensuring sustained supply and adequate forecasting. While providing medicine for c0-morbidities linking HIV clients to psychological care requires advocacy of highest level; influencing policy makers to develop a strong referral mechanism. Provided the fact that provision of a dedicated psychologist at each treatment site due to financial implication, is not feasible.
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