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1.  A Causal Framework for Understanding the Effect of Losses to Follow-up on Epidemiologic Analyses in Clinic-based Cohorts: The Case of HIV-infected Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy in Africa 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;175(10):1080-1087.
Although clinic-based cohorts are most representative of the “real world,” they are susceptible to loss to follow-up. Strategies for managing the impact of loss to follow-up are therefore needed to maximize the value of studies conducted in these cohorts. The authors evaluated adult patients starting antiretroviral therapy at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Uganda, where 29% of patients were lost to follow-up after 2 years (January 1, 2004–September 30, 2007). Unweighted, inverse probability of censoring weighted (IPCW), and sampling-based approaches (using supplemental data from a sample of lost patients subsequently tracked in the community) were used to identify the predictive value of sex on mortality. Directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) were used to explore the structural basis for bias in each approach. Among 3,628 patients, unweighted and IPCW analyses found men to have higher mortality than women, whereas the sampling-based approach did not. DAGs encoding knowledge about the data-generating process, including the fact that death is a cause of being classified as lost to follow-up in this setting, revealed “collider” bias in the unweighted and IPCW approaches. In a clinic-based cohort in Africa, unweighted and IPCW approaches—which rely on the “missing at random” assumption—yielded biased estimates. A sampling-based approach can in general strengthen epidemiologic analyses conducted in many clinic-based cohorts, including those examining other diseases.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr444
PMCID: PMC3353135  PMID: 22306557
Africa; antiretroviral therapy; clinic-based cohorts; directed acyclic graphs; informative censoring; inverse probability of censoring weights; loss to follow-up; missing at random
2.  Contraceptive Use and Associated Factors among Women Enrolling into HIV Care in Southwestern Uganda 
Background. Preventing unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV is an important component of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), yet few data exist on contraceptive use among women entering HIV care. Methods. This was a retrospective study of electronic medical records from the initial HIV clinic visits of 826 sexually active, nonpregnant, 18–49-year old women in southwestern Uganda in 2009. We examined whether contraceptive use was associated with HIV status disclosure to one's spouse. Results. The proportion reporting use of contraception was 27.8%. The most common method used was injectable hormones (51.7%), followed by condoms (29.6%), and oral contraceptives (8.7%). In multivariable analysis, the odds of contraceptive use were significantly higher among women reporting secondary education, higher income, three or more children, and younger age. There were no significant independent associations between contraceptive use and HIV status disclosure to spouse. Discussion. Contraceptive use among HIV-positive females enrolling into HIV care in southwestern Uganda was low. Our results suggest that increased emphasis should be given to increase the contraception uptake for all women especially those with lower education and income. HIV clinics may be prime sites for contraception education and service delivery integration.
doi:10.1155/2012/340782
PMCID: PMC3469089  PMID: 23082069
3.  Creation and Evaluation of EMR-based Paper Clinical Summaries to Support HIV-Care in Uganda, Africa 
Purpose
Getting the right information to providers can improve quality of care. We set out to provide patient-specific Electronic Medical Record (EMR)-based clinical summaries for providers taking care of HIV-positive adult patients in the resource-limited setting of Mbarara, Uganda.
Methods
We evaluated the impact of implementing these clinical summaries using time-motion techniques and provider surveys.
Results
After implementation of EMR-based clinical summaries, providers spent more time in direct care of patients (2.9 vs 2.3 minutes, p<0.001), and the length of patient visits was reduced by 11.5 minutes. Survey respondents indicated that clinical summaries improved care, reduced mistakes, and were generally accurate. Current antiretroviral medication, patient identifying information, adherence information, current medication, and current medical problems were among the highest-rated elements of the summary.
Conclusions
By taking advantage of data stored in EMRs, efficiency and quality of care can be improved through clinical summaries, even in settings with limited resources.
doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.11.006
PMCID: PMC2818680  PMID: 20036193
Electronic Medical Record; Developing Countries; Clinical Decision Support; Technology adoption; Medical Informatics
4.  Diminishing Availability of Publicly Funded Slots for Antiretroviral Initiation among HIV-Infected ART-Eligible Patients in Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e14098.
Background
The impact of flat-line funding in the global scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected patients in Africa has not yet been well described.
Methods
We evaluated ART-eligible patients and patients starting ART at a prototypical scale up ART clinic in Mbarara, Uganda between April 1, 2009 and May 14, 2010 where four stakeholders sponsor treatment – two PEPFAR implementing organizations, the Ugandan Ministry of Health – Global Fund (MOH-GF) and a private foundation named the Family Treatment Fund (FTF). We assessed temporal trends in the number of eligible patients, the number starting ART and tabulated the distribution of the stakeholders supporting ART initiation by month and quartile of time during this interval. We used survival analyses to assess changes in the rate of ART initiation over calendar time.
Findings
A total of 1309 patients who were eligible for ART made visits over the 14 month period of the study and of these 819 started ART. The median number of ART eligible patients each month was 88 (IQR: 74 to 115). By quartile of calendar time, PEPFAR and MOH sponsored 290, 192, 180, and 49 ART initiations whereas the FTF started 1, 2, 1 and 104 patients respectively. By May of 2010 (the last calendar month of observation) FTF sponsored 88% of all ART initiations. Becoming eligible for ART in the 3rd (HR = 0.58, 95% 0.45–0.74) and 4th quartiles (HR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.36–0.65) was associated with delay in ART initiation compared to the first quartile in multivariable analyses.
Interpretation
During a period of flat line funding from multinational donors for ART programs, reductions in the number of ART initiations by public programs (i.e., PEPFAR and MOH-GF) and delays in ART initiation became apparent at the a large prototypical scale-up ART clinic in Uganda.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014098
PMCID: PMC2991339  PMID: 21124842

Results 1-4 (4)