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Perceptions and Attitudes Toward an Interactive Voice Response Tool (Call for Life Uganda) Providing Adherence Support and Health Information to HIV-Positive Ugandans: Qualitative Study

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license


The continuing decline in AIDS-related deaths in the African region is largely driven by the steady scale-up of antiretroviral therapy. However, there are challenges to retaining people living with HIV on treatment. Call for Life Uganda (CFLU) is an interactive voice response tool using simple analogue phones. CFLU supports patients with daily pill reminders, preappointment reminders, symptom reporting and management, and weekly health promotion tips. Mobile health tools are being increasingly used in resource-limited settings but are often adopted without rigorous evaluation.


This qualitative study conducted at 12 months after enrollment assessed patients' experiences, perceptions, and attitudes regarding CLFU.


We conducted a qualitative substudy within an open-label randomized controlled trial titled "Improving outcomes in HIV patients using mobile phone based interactive software support." Data were collected through 6 focus group discussions with participants sampled based on proportion of calls responded to-<25%, between 25% and 50%, and >50%-conducted at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Mulago, and the Kasangati Health Centre IV. NVivo (version 11; QSR International) was used in the management of the data and in the coding of the emerging themes. The data were then analyzed using content thematic analysis.


There was consensus across all groups that they had more positive than negative experiences with the CFLU system. Participants who responded to >50% of the calls reported more frequent use of the specific elements of the CFLU tool and, consequently, experienced more benefits from the system than those who responded to calls less frequently. Irrespective of calls responded to, participants identified pill reminders as the most important aspect in improved quality of life, followed by health promotion tips. The most common challenge faced was difficulty with the secret personal identification number.


Findings showed participants' appreciation, high willingness, and interest in the intervention, CFLU, that demonstrated great perceived potential to improve their access to health care; adherence to treatment; health awareness; and, consequently, quality of life.

Trial registration NCT02953080;

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