Aims: Dual epidemics of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and alcohol use disorders, and a dearth of professional resources for behavioral treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, suggest the need for development of culturally relevant and feasible interventions. The purpose of this study was to test the preliminary efficacy of a culturally adapted six-session gender-stratified group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention delivered by paraprofessionals to reduce alcohol use among HIV-infected out-patients in Eldoret, Kenya.
Design: Randomized clinical trial comparing CBT against a usual care assessment-only control.
Setting: A large HIV out-patient clinic in Eldoret, Kenya, part of the Academic Model for Providing Access to Healthcare collaboration.
Participants: Seventy-five HIV-infected out-patients who were antiretroviral (ARV)-initiated or ARV-eligible and who reported hazardous or binge drinking.
Measurements: Percentage of drinking days (PDD) and mean drinks per drinking days (DDD) measured continuously using the Time line Follow back method.
Findings: There were 299 ineligible and 102 eligible out-patients with 12 refusals. Effect sizes of the change in alcohol use since baseline between the two conditions at the 30-day follow-up were large [d=0.95, P=0.0002, mean difference=24.93, 95% confidence interval (CI): 12.43, 37.43 PDD; d=0.76, P=0.002, mean difference=2.88, 95% CI: 1.05, 4.70 DDD]. Randomized participants attended 93% of the six CBT sessions offered. Reported alcohol abstinence at the 90-day follow-up was 69% (CBT) and 38% (usual care). Paraprofessional counselors achieved independent ratings of adherence and competence equivalent to college-educated therapists in the United States. Treatment effect sizes were comparable to alcohol intervention studies conducted in the United States.
Conclusions: Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be adapted successfully to group paraprofessional delivery in Kenya and may be effective in reducing alcohol use among HIV-infected Kenyan out-patients.
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.