Codesigning care improvements for women living with HIV: a patient-oriented deliberative dialogue workshop in Montréal, Quebec

CMAJ Open. 2020 Apr 17;8(2):E264-E272. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20190158. Print Apr-Jun 2020.


Background: Care services have not been sufficiently adapted to meet the comprehensive care needs of women living with HIV. Our study objective was to engage patients and providers in codesigning care recommendations to improve care for this population in the province of Quebec.

Methods: We conducted a 5-hour deliberative dialogue workshop in April 2019 in Montréal as the final phase of a mixed-methods study investigating comprehensive care for women living with HIV. The study drew on data from the Canadian HIV Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS). Recruitment was guided by a purposive maximum-variation sampling strategy to ensure an appropriate mix of participants and was facilitated by our existing CHIWOS networks. Participants included patients (women living with HIV) and HIV care providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists). The workshop was facilitated professionally and included a synthesis of the evidence, small- and large-group deliberations, and voting on care improvements.

Results: Eight patients and 8 HIV care providers participated. Drawing on identified care priorities, the participants identified 4 relatively rapid care improvements and 3 longer-term improvements. The rapid care improvements included delegating medical acts to members of multidisciplinary care teams; greater involvement of HIV community members within care settings and health care decision-making; creating a women's health information booklet; and increasing HIV education among all health care providers and raising awareness of women's care needs beyond HIV-specific care among HIV care providers. The longer-term care improvements included advocating for complete financial coverage of antiretroviral therapy within the government-sponsored Medicare program, facilitating access to allied care providers (e.g., physiotherapists and psychologists) and launching a population-wide campaign to increase awareness about the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) initiative and other HIV advances.

Interpretation: The deliberative dialogue workshop yielded evidence-based, stakeholder-driven recommendations to improve the comprehensive care of women living with HIV in Quebec.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care* / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care* / standards
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*