"One Teabag Is Better than Four": Participants Response to the Discontinuation of 2% PRO2000/5 Microbicide Gel in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Gafos, M; Mzimela, M; Ndlovu, H; Mhlongo, N; Hoogland, Y; Mutemwa, R; (2011) "One Teabag Is Better than Four": Participants Response to the Discontinuation of 2% PRO2000/5 Microbicide Gel in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. PLoS One, 6 (1). ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014577

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Abstract

Introduction: The Microbicides Development Programme evaluated the safety and effectiveness of 0.5% and 2% PRO2000/5 microbicide gels in reducing the risk of vaginally acquired HIV. In February 2008 the Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended that evaluation of 2% PRO2000/5 gel be discontinued due to futility. The Africa Centre site systematically collected participant responses to this discontinuation. Methods: Clinic and field staff completed field reports using ethnographic participant observation techniques. In-depth-interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with participants discontinued from 2% gel. A total of 72 field reports, 12 in-depth-interviews and 3 focus groups with 250 women were completed for this analysis. Retention of discontinued participants was also analysed. Qualitative data was analysed using NVivo 2 and quantitative data using STATA 10.0. Results: Participants responded initially with fear that discontinuation was due to harm, followed by acceptance after effective messaging, and finally with disappointment. Participants reported that their initial fear was exacerbated by being contacted and advised to visit the clinic for information about the closure. Operational changes were subsequently made to the contact procedures. By incorporating feedback from participants, messages were continuously revised to ensure that information was comprehensible and misconceptions were addressed quickly thereby enabling participants to accept the discontinuation. Participants were disappointed that 2% PRO2000/5 was being excluded as a HIV prevention option, but also that they would no longer have access to gel that improved their sexual relationships with their partners and assisted condom negotiations. In total 238 women were discontinued from gel and 185 (78%) went on to complete their scheduled follow-up period. Discussion: The use of qualitative social science techniques allowed the site team to amend operational procedures and messaging throughout the discontinuation period. This proved instrumental in ensuring that the discontinuation was successfully completed in a manner that was both understandable and acceptable to participants.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: CLINICAL-TRIAL, ACCEPTABILITY
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Population Studies (1974-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 21344002
Web of Science ID: 286522300011
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1309

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