207006 An evaluation of a case management program for HIV clients in Rwanda

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Laura J. Haas, PhD, MBA , Payson Center for International Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Tonya Thurman, PhD , Department of International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Nancy Mock, DrPH , Department of International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Bridget C. Lavin, MS , Department of Health Systems Management, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Abel Dushimimana, PhD , Afro, World Health Organization, Brazzaville, Congo-Brazzaville
Delphine Pinault, BS , Program Quality, East and Central Africa Region, CARE International, Kigali, Rwanda
Samuel Ngaruko, BS , Rwanda, CARE International, Kigali, Rwanda
The purpose of this work is to demonstrate the application of case management to HIV/AIDS in a developing country context. In September 2004, CARE International initiated a case management program in Rwanda designed to enhance linkages between community and facility-based services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). The evaluation focused on program implementation and program outcomes including responsibilities and resources of case managers, community linkages, integration within the health facility, ARV adherence and quality of life among PLHA. Qualitative data was collected from case managers, clients, health care providers, and CARE staff via focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. A survey was conducted among 75% of the 149 case managers. Results indicate the program facilitated PLHA's access to care and support services and strengthened linkages between facility-based and community service providers. Most case managers (79%) reported inadequate resources to carry out their duties and high client loads, averaging 63 clients each. They also had limited referral networks. Nonetheless, case managers were highly regarded and appreciated by health professionals, who reported the program helped to enhance patient-doctor relationships and ensure follow-up on patients' needs. Respondents further highlighted benefits of improved psychosocial wellbeing and better adherence to antiretroviral medications among clients. Issues remain in terms of case management efficacy in developing country environments, notably the availability and accessibility of needed care and support services. Despite some limitations, data suggest case management is a viable strategy for providing comprehensive support to PLHA in Rwanda and its implementation elsewhere in Africa should be considered.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe three factors limiting the effectiveness of HIV case managers in Rwanda. 2. Identify three positive outcomes among people living with HIV/AIDS that are associated with case management of HIV. 3. Describe both positive and negative aspects of employing a nurse as a case manager in resource constrained health systems.

Keywords: Case Management, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a masters degree in public health and am pursuing a PhD in health systems management. I participated in the analysis of the qualitative data for this study and am conducting the follow-up quantitative study.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
CARE International of Rwanda HIV case management Consultant

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.