Development of a model of care for rehabilitation of people living with HIV in a sermirural setting in South Africa
Background: Human immunodeficiency virus continues to challenge health care professionals even after the rollout of antiretroviral therapy. South Africa, among the worst affected countries in the world by the pandemic, has seen the effect of people living longer but facing disabling effects of both the virus and the associated impairments of the antiretroviral therapy. Rehabilitation within the evolving context of the disease has changed its focus from the impairment of the individual to the participation restriction within a person’s daily life. Offering a continuum of coordinated, multilevel, multidiscipline, evidence-based rehabilitation within health care will promote its prominence in health care structures.
Objective: This study aims to develop a model of care within a health care structure using a semi-rural African setting as an example.
Methods:The study will employ mixed methods using a Learning in Action Approach into the rehabilitation of people living with HIV (PLHIV) at the study setting. The Delphi technique, a multistage consensus method, will be used to obtain feedback from a number of local experts relevant for the field of rehabilitation of people living with HIV. The study will also involve various stakeholders such as the multidisciplinary health care team (doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, speech and language therapists, social workers, midlevel workers, community health care workers); department of health representative(s); site affiliated nongovernmental organization representative(s); and service users at the study setting.
Results: Once a proposed model of care is derived, the model will be assessed for rigour and piloted at the study setting.
Conclusions: The development of a model of care in rehabilitation for PLHIV in a health care setting is aimed to provide an example of a continuum of coordinated service throughout the disease trajectory. The assumption is that the burden on the health care system will be curbed and the projected benefit for all stakeholders will promote a sort after service delivery in rehabilitation of people living with HIV.