Provider perspectives on patient-centredness: participatory formative research and rapid analysis methods to inform the design and implementation of a facility-based HIV care improvement intervention in Zambia

Chanda Mwamba, Laura K. Beres, Njekwa Mukamba, Lazarus Jere, Marksman Foloko, Kasapo Lumbo, Kombatende Sikombe, Sandra Simbeza, Aaloke Mody, Jake M. Pry, Charles B. Holmes, Izukanji Sikazwe, Carolyn Bolton Moore, Katerina Christopoulos, Anjali Sharma, Elvin H. Geng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Implementation of patient-centred care (PCC) practices in HIV treatment depends on healthcare workers’ (HCWs) perceptions of the acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility of such practices (e.g. use of intentional, metric-driven activities to improve patient experiences). Methods: We applied rapid, rigorous formative research methods to refine a PCC intervention for future trial. In 2018, we conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) with 46 HCWs purposefully selected from two pilot sites. We elicited HCW perceptions of HIV service delivery, HCW motivation and perceived value of patient experience measures intended to improve PCC. FGDs utilized participatory methods to understand HCW responses to patient-reported care engagement challenges and Scholl's PCC Framework principles (e.g. seeing a patient as a unique person), enablers (e.g. care coordination) and activities (e.g. patient involvement). Our rapid analysis used analytic memos, thematic analysis, research team debriefs and HCW feedback to inform time-sensitive trial implementation. Results: While HCWs nearly universally identified with and supported principles of PCC in both facilities, they raised practical barriers given the practice environment. HCWs described motivation to help patients, attached value to seeing positive health outcomes and the importance of teamwork. However, HCWs reported challenges with enablers needed to deliver PCC. HCWs cited a work culture characterized by differential power dynamics between cadres and departments restricting HCW autonomy and resource access. Barriers included inflexibility in accommodating individual patient needs due to high patient volumes, limited human resources, laboratory capacity, infrastructure and skills translating patient perspectives into practice. HCW motivation was negatively influenced by encounters with “difficult patients,” and feeling “unappreciated” by management, resulting in cognitive dissonance between HCW beliefs and behaviours. However, the enactment of PCC values also occurred. Results suggested that PCC interventions should reduce practice barriers, highlighting the value of mentors who could help HCWs dynamically engage with health system constraints, to facilitate PCC. Conclusions: While HCWs perceived PCC principles as acceptable, they did not think it universally appropriate or feasible given the practice environment. Participatory and rapid methods provided timely insight that PCC interventions must provide clear and effective systems enabling PCC activities by measuring and mitigating relational and organizational constraints amenable to change such as inter-cadre coordination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26114
JournalJournal of the International AIDS Society
Volume26
Issue numberS1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • ART
  • HIV
  • Zambia
  • formative research
  • patient-centred care
  • rapid qualitative analysis

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