BMJ Open 2021; 11(10): e047979 -

Integrating HIV, diabetes and hypertension services in Africa: study protocol for a cluster randomised trial in Tanzania and Uganda.

Mfinanga SG, Nyirenda MJ, Mutungi G, Mghamba J, Maongezi S, Musinguzi J, Okebe J, Kivuyo S, Birungi J, van Widenfelt E, Van Hout MC, Bachmann M, Garrib A, Bukenya D, Cullen W, Lazarus JV, Niessen LW, Katahoire A, Shayo EH, Namakoola I, Ramaiya K, Wang D, Cuevas LE, Etukoit BM, Lutale J, Meshack S, Mugisha K, Gill G, Sewankambo N, Smith PG, Jaffar S
HIV programmes in sub-Saharan Africa are well funded but programmes for diabetes and hypertension are weak with only a small proportion of patients in regular care. Healthcare provision is organised from stand-alone clinics. In this cluster randomised trial, we are evaluating a concept of integrated care for people with HIV infection, diabetes or hypertension from a single point of care.32 primary care health facilities in Dar es Salaam and Kampala regions were randomised to either integrated or standard vertical care. In the integrated care arm, services are organised from a single clinic where patients with either HIV infection, diabetes or hypertension are managed by the same clinical and counselling teams. They use the same pharmacy and laboratory and have the same style of patient records. Standard care involves separate pathways, that is, separate clinics, waiting and counselling areas, a separate pharmacy and separate medical records. The trial has two primary endpoints: retention in care of people with hypertension or diabetes and plasma viral load suppression. Recruitment is expected to take 6 months and follow-up is for 12 months. With 100 participants enrolled in each facility with diabetes or hypertension, the trial will provide 90% power to detect an absolute difference in retention of 15% between the study arms (at the 5% two-sided significance level). If 100 participants with HIV infection are also enrolled in each facility, we will have 90% power to show non-inferiority in virological suppression to a delta=10% margin (ie, that the upper limit of the one-sided 95% CI of the difference between the two arms will not exceed 10%). To allow for lost to follow-up, the trial will enrol over 220 persons per facility. This is the only trial of its kind evaluating the concept of a single integrated clinic for chronic conditions in Africa.The protocol has been approved by ethics committee of The AIDS Support Organisation, National Institute of Medical Research and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Dissemination of findings will be done through journal publications and meetings involving study participants, healthcare providers and other stakeholders.ISRCTN43896688.© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.