A qualitative study investigating the use of a mobile phone short message service designed to improve HIV adherence and retention in care in Canada (WelTel BC1)

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2014 Nov-Dec;25(6):614-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Apr 23.


Patient engagement in care and adherence to medication are critical to achieving the full benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people with HIV infection. A randomized controlled trial in Kenya, WelTelKenya1, showed that an interactive mobile phone text-messaging intervention can improve adherence and viral load suppression. We conducted a pilot study to adapt the WelTel intervention for HIV-infected clients (n = 25) at an HIV clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia. Between April and June 2012, we recruited five participants from five groups: youth (14-24 years), mature (≥50 years), English as a second language, remote (≥3 hours travel time to clinic), and nonsuppressed (CD4+ T cell count <200 cells/mm(3) and viral load ≥250 copies/mL on two consecutive occasions). Participants described the intervention as a useful way to communicate with health care providers, thus increasing the ability to access services, report side effects, and attend appointments.

Keywords: Canada; HIV; continuity of patient care; mobile health; nursing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attitude to Health
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Canada
  • Cell Phone*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Qualitative Research
  • Reminder Systems
  • Text Messaging
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents