Home-Based Care, the Missing Link in Caring of Patients Living with HIV/AIDS and Their Family Members: A Narrative Review

Int J Community Based Nurs Midwifery. 2020 Jul;8(3):190-208. doi: 10.30476/ijcbnm.2020.82771.1085.


Inconsistencies between the number of patients, qualified caregivers and lack of adequate services and resources in the healthcare systems for people living with HIV/AIDS have led to the idea of providing healthcare services for this vulnerable population at home. This study aimed to review the evidence related to the Home-Based Care (HBC) programs in the context of HIV. Literature search was carried out without publication date limit through English databases of Cochrane Library, PubMed, EBSCO, Scopus, Google Scholar, Science Direct, as well as Persian databases including Magiran and SID by the end of July 2019. Out of 1312 studies retrieved from the search of databases, six guidelines and 50 articles met the eligible criteria. The results showed that the overall purpose of HBC is to create hope through providing appropriate care to help the patients and their families to maintain their independence and have the best possible quality of life. The potential benefits of HBC could be discussed in three main categories: 1) patients, including patients' satisfaction, quality of life, adherence to antiretroviral therapy, preventing mother-to-child transmission, as well as biochemical, social and psychological outcomes, 2) families, consisted of promotinon of family members' participation, enhancement of family members' awareness and provision of voluntary counseling and testing, and 3) healthcare systems, containing health care costs, workload at healthcare centers and time spent on services. Given the lessons learnt from the existing HBC programs, developing an alternative approach for providing healthcare at home in the context of HIV seems necessary and could be an agenda for action in health policy making in Iran.

Keywords: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Healthcare systems; Human immunodeficiency virus; home-based health care; home-care services.

Publication types

  • Review