PositiveLinks is a clinic-based mobile health intervention that promotes linkage to and engagement in HIV care in rural areas for people with HIV who are new to care or at risk of falling out of care. This intervention uses a warm technology framework to enhance engagement with the care setting and a broader virtual community of people living with HIV.
- Retention in care increased from 51% at baseline to 81% 12 months post implementation.
- Visit constancy increased from 22% at baseline to 51% 12 months post implementation.
- Viral suppression increased from 47% at baseline to 79% 12 months post implementation.
The intervention also provided participants a sense of connection and social support.
- Assess Readiness and Capacity
- Explore Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure
- Develop a Plan and Protocols for Sites and Partners
- Recruit and Train Staff
- Implement the Intervention
- Monitor and Evaluate the Intervention
Total Annual Costs: $543,729
Avg. Cost Per Client: $1,285
Avg. Personnel Cost Per Client: $455
You can use the CIE Cost Calculator to create an estimate of the cost of implementing the intervention at your organization.
Challenges and Solutions
|Obtaining IT Approvals||Prepare documentation and collaborate with in-house staff to obtain IT security review and approval. Determine how nimble your organization can be in adopting new technology and integrating it into the workflow.|
|Obtaining Provider Buy-in||Discuss the added-value of using the PositiveLinks app and address provider concerns regarding the app (e.g., potential risks, protocols for clients who show psychological distress, completion of required documentation).|
|Public Health Crises||Consider the broader healthcare landscape. Crises such as COVID-19 may impact your ability to deliver care to clients. When in-person visits are not feasible, initiate remote client enrollment and support.|
|Funding a Tech-based Intervention||Technology-based interventions can be costly. Work with internal teams to find funding to support technological resources.|
|Sharing Challenges and Solutions with All PositiveLinks Platform Users||Provide resources to teams and standardize solutions where appropriate. Develop a summary of potential challenges and solutions that includes knowledge and tips from staff. Collaborative knowledge exchange enables the intervention to nurture a community of practice that empowers the broader PositiveLinks community.|
- Long term impact of PositiveLinks: Clinic-deployed mobile technology to improve engagement with HIV care
- mHealth for HIV treatment & prevention: A systematic review of the literature
- PositiveLinks: A mobile health intervention for retention in HIV care and clinical outcomes with 12-month follow-up
- Content analysis and user characteristics of a smartphone-based online support group for people living with HIV
- Comparison of a user-centered design, self-management app to existing mHealth apps for persons living with HIV
- PositiveLinks International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) Conference Presentation (PDF)
- Positive Links Research
- PositiveLinks Website