SIGNIFICANCE AND POTENTIAL IMPACT
By identifying and addressing PROs that matter most to patients, this research has the potential to maximize clinic time spent with patients with HIV and chronic conditions to tailor and improve their care.
Patients with HIV are living longer, and with additional chronic conditions
People with HIV are living much longer due to antiretroviral treatments; however, this increasingly aging population has a large burden of multiple chronic conditions that may impact functioning, symptom burden, and outcomes. Clinicians providing HIV care must prioritize and address multiple chronic conditions in the context of a time-constrained clinic visit. In addition, those with HIV may not have the opportunity to voice their needs, given the many pressures on short clinical encounters and provider preconceptions that sometimes steer the direction of the conversation. Recent work by co-principal investigators Drs. Heidi Crane and William Lober at the University of Washington found that using a brief, tablet-based, clinical assessment that captured PROs improved identification of conditions such as substance misuse and depression.
These PRO assessments, completed by patients at the beginning of clinic visits, can help providers focus visit discussions on the patient’s most relevant needs. However, current PRO assessment lacks provider input regarding the most clinically relevant priorities for treating patients with multiple chronic conditions. PRO assessment and prioritization must be streamlined to minimize impact on clinic flow and maximize relevance to providers and patients. For example, Dr. Crane noted, “It doesn’t make sense to ask all people with HIV if they have Narcan (naloxone) at home to prevent overdoses, but for the very small number of people that are heroin users it’s incredibly important.”
Examining person-specific PRO use in clinical practice
To address this, Dr. Crane, Dr. Lober, and their research team wanted to improve methods for systematic collection and use of PROs in clinical care for people with HIV with multiple chronic conditions using person-specific PRO (psPRO) prioritization. Interviews with HIV care providers and patients will identify clinical priorities for people with HIV and inform the development of algorithms to prioritize PROs that reflect the conditions, priorities, and values identified. They will then implement real-time psPRO collection for people with HIV into routine clinical care. The team will conduct a randomized trial with the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems, a consortium of eight sites providing care for over 30,000 people with HIV, to evaluate the effectiveness of personalized PROs in improving care.
The team hopes that this work will help customize and improve care for people with HIV and multiple chronic conditions. This work will help providers identify priority issues relevant to their patients and maximize clinic time to address these issues.