Objectives: Physician specialty is often positively associated with disease-specific outcomes and negatively associated with primary care outcomes for people with chronic conditions. People with HIV have increasing comorbidity arising from antiretroviral therapy (ART) related longevity, making HIV a useful condition to examine shared care models. We used a previously described, theoretically developed shared care framework to assess the impact of care delivery on the quality of care provided.
Design: Retrospective population-based observational study from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2012.
Participants: 13 480 patients with HIV and receiving publicly funded healthcare in Ontario were assigned to one of five patterns of care.
Outcome measures: Cancer screening, ART prescribing and healthcare utilisation across models using adjusted multivariable hierarchical logistic regression analyses.
Results: Models in which patients had an assigned family physician had higher odds of cancer screening than those in exclusively specialist care (colorectal cancer screening, exclusively primary care adjusted OR (AOR)=3.12, 95% CI (1.90 to 5.13), family physician-dominant co-management AOR=3.39, 95% CI (1.94 to 5.93), specialist-dominant co-management AOR=2.01, 95% CI (1.23 to 3.26)). The odds of having one emergency department visit did not differ among models, although the odds of hospitalisation and HIV-specific hospitalisation were lower among patients who saw exclusively family physicians (AOR=0.23, 95% CI (0.14 to 0.35) and AOR=0.15, 95% CI (0.12 to 0.21)). The odds of antiretroviral prescriptions were lower among models in which patients' HIV care was provided predominantly by family physicians (exclusively primary care AOR=0.15, 95% CI (0.12 to 0.21), family physician-dominant co-management AOR=0.45, 95% CI (0.32 to 0.64)).
Conclusions: How care is provided had a potentially important influence on the quality of care delivered. Our key limitation is potential confounding due to the absence of HIV stage measures.
Keywords: Human Immunodeficiency Virus; PRIMARY CARE; chronic disease; comorbidity; health services delivery.
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