TitleNurse Versus Doctor Management of HIV-Infected Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (CIPRA-SA): A Randomised Non-Inferiority Trial
AuthorsSanne I., Orrell C., Fox M. P., Conradie F., Ive P., Zeinecker J., Cornell M., Heiberg C., Ingram C., Panchia R., Rassool M., Gonin R., Stevens W., Truter H., Dehlinger M., van der Horst C., McIntyre J., Wood R.
PublicationLancet. 2010 Jun; 376(9734):33-40.
AbstractBACKGROUND: Expanded access to combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-poor settings is dependent on task shifting from doctors to other health-care providers. We compared outcomes of nurse versus doctor management of ART care for HIV-infected patients. METHODS: This randomised non-inferiority trial was undertaken at two South African primary-care clinics. HIV-positive individuals with a CD4 cell count of less than 350 cells per microL or WHO stage 3 or 4 disease were randomly assigned to nurse-monitored or doctor-monitored ART care. Patients were randomly assigned by stratified permuted block randomisation, and neither the patients nor those analysing the data were masked to assignment. The primary objective was a composite endpoint of treatment-limiting events, incorporating mortality, viral failure, treatment-limiting toxic effects, and adherence to visit schedule. Analysis was by intention to treat. Non-inferiority of the nurse versus doctor group for cumulative treatment failure was prespecified as an upper 95% CI for the hazard ratio that was less than 1.40. This study is registered with, number NCT00255840. FINDINGS: 408 patients were assigned to doctor-monitored ART care and 404 to nurse-monitored ART care; all participants were analysed. 371 (46%) patients reached an endpoint of treatment failure: 192 (48%) in the nurse group and 179 (44%) in the doctor group. The hazard ratio for composite failure was 1.09 (95% CI 0.89-1.33), which was within the limits for non-inferiority. After a median follow-up of 120 weeks (IQR 60-144), deaths (ten vs 11), virological failures (44 vs 39), toxicity failures (68 vs 66), and programme losses (70 vs 63) were similar in nurse and doctor groups, respectively. INTERPRETATION: Nurse-monitored ART is non-inferior to doctor-monitored therapy. Findings from this study lend support to task shifting to appropriately trained nurses for monitoring of ART. FUNDING: National Institutes of Health; United States Agency for International Development; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.