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Home > Telehealth and texting intervention to improve HIV care engagement, mental health and substance use outcomes in youth living with HIV: a pilot feasibility and acceptability study protocol.

Wootton, Angie R and Legnitto, Dominique A and Gruber, Valerie A and Dawson-Rose, Carol and Neilands, Torsten B and Johnson, Mallory O and Saberi, Parya . (2019) Telehealth and texting intervention to improve HIV care engagement, mental health and substance use outcomes in youth living with HIV: a pilot feasibility and acceptability study protocol. BMJ open, 9 (7 e028522) DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028522

URL: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/7/e028522.long

INTRODUCTION: Youth and young adults living with HIV (YLWH) experience worse clinical outcomes than adults and high rates of behavioural health challenges that impact their engagement in care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy. This study in the San Francisco Bay area aims to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary clinical outcomes of a 12-session telehealth counselling series provided to 80 YLWH, including education, motivational enhancement and problem-solving around HIV care, mental health, substance use and other challenges. Findings will provide information about benefits and challenges of telehealth counselling for YLWH and will guide the development of new technology-based strategies for care.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Youth to Telehealth and Text to Improve Engagement in Care study is a pilot randomised, crossover trial examining the feasibility and acceptability of a telehealth counselling intervention consisting of twelve 20-30 min weekly sessions focused on identifying and problem-solving around barriers to HIV care access and adherence and on addressing mental health, substance use and/or other issues. Participants also receive text messages for check-ins, appointment reminders and to improve engagement. Participants complete quantitative online surveys at baseline, 4 and 8 months and qualitative exit interviews. Clinical outcomes, including plasma HIV RNA and CD4+ cell count, are collected from medical records. Study staff will explore outcomes of the intervention using quantitative and qualitative methods.


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