Differentiated Care Preferences of Stable Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy in Zambia: A Discrete Choice Experiment

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 Aug 15;81(5):540-546. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002070.


Background: Although differentiated service delivery (DSD) models for stable patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) offer a range of health systems innovations, their comparative desirability to patients remains unknown. We conducted a discrete choice experiment to quantify service attributes most desired by patients to inform model prioritization.

Methods: Between July and December 2016, a sample of HIV-positive adults on ART at 12 clinics in Zambia were asked to choose between 2 hypothetical facilities that differed across 6 DSD attributes. We used mixed logit models to explore preferences, heterogeneity, and trade-offs.

Results: Of 486 respondents, 59% were female and 85% resided in urban locations. Patients strongly preferred infrequent clinic visits [3- vs. 1-month visits: β (ie, relative utility) = 2.84; P < 0.001]. Milder preferences were observed for waiting time for ART pick-up (1 vs. 6 hours.; β = -0.67; P < 0.001) or provider (1 vs. 3 hours.; β = -0.41; P = 0.002); "buddy" ART collection (β = 0.84; P < 0.001); and ART pick-up location (clinic vs. community: β = 0.35; P = 0.028). Urban patients demonstrated a preference for collecting ART at a clinic (β = 1.32, P < 0.001), and although most rural patients preferred community ART pick-up (β = -0.74, P = 0.049), 40% of rural patients still preferred facility ART collection.

Conclusions: Stable patients on ART primarily want to attend clinic infrequently, supporting a focus in Zambia on optimizing multimonth prescribing over other DSD features-particularly in urban areas. Substantial preference heterogeneity highlights the need for DSD models to be flexible, and accommodate both setting features and patient choice in their design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Preference
  • Rural Population
  • Zambia


  • Antirheumatic Agents