Evaluation of a brief low-cost intervention to improve antiretroviral treatment decisions

Oscar Grusky, W. D. Marelich, J. Erger, T. Mann, K. Johnston Roberts, W. Neil Steers, M. Damesyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An earlier pilot study found that US DHHS guidelines for antiretroviral treatment were not being successfully implemented (Mann et al., 2000). A brief and inexpensive intervention (visual aid checklist) was developed with the assistance of HIV-expert physicians in order to aid HIV/AIDS health care providers' and their patients' decisions about antiretroviral therapy. The visual aid checklist consisted of a two-page coloured diagram and explanation of key concepts (T-cell, viral load and resistance) and a checklist of the benefits and risks of antiretroviral therapy. Twenty adult HIV-positive subjects and eight health care providers were studied. Ten subjects were observed with their providers without the intervention being used, and then ten subjects were observed with the intervention. A pre-/post-test format was used to assess the patients' antiretroviral knowledge, patient-provider discussion of the DHHS guidelines, and provider satisfaction with the intervention. No differences in baseline HIV knowledge were found between the two groups. Results showed that patients in the intervention condition had greater knowledge of the benefits and risks of antiretroviral therapy than patients in the control condition. Providers reported that the intervention was useful in aiding and encouraging communication as well as conveying knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-687
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by NIMH grants RO1-MH 62709 and T32 MH-19127 and Universitywide AIDS Research/UCLA AIDS Institute grant CC97-LA-175 to Oscar Grusky. The authors acknowledge the helpful contributions of the providers and the patients, Marvin Belzer, MD and Ms Chy Tran.


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