Individual disposition and mHealth: Personalized care to improve outcomes

Principal Investigator: 
University: 
University of British Columbia
Faculty: 
Faculty of Medicine
Department: 
Division of Infections Diseases
Health Profession: 
Physician

Today the greatest barrier to optimal health among persons living with HIV (PLWH) is antiretroviral (ART) adherence. The WelTel program uses weekly text-messages to improve ART adherence and HIV viral suppression among PLWH, but does not work for everyone. The literature states that personality traits and sense of purpose (dispositional traits) play a role in HIV-related outcomes. Measuring disposition is simple and rapid, and could be used to personalize adherence supports for clients with relative ease. 

We will enrol 300 PLWH from three Vancouver HIV clinics into the WelTel program. Participants will receive a basic cell phone and phone plan if they do not have one, and receive a weekly (two-way) text message for 12 months asking 'How are you?'. Problem responses will be triaged by a nurse. 

We will use existing validated tools to measure disposition at baseline/over time to determine whether we can predict who is most likely to benefit from the WelTel program, and how WelTel works to enact behaviour change. In this way we hope to provide a means by which limited resources could be triaged in vulnerable populations struggling with adherence to provide well-suited programs to the greatest number of individuals possible.

Research Pillar: 
Host Institution: 
Provincial Health Services Authority
Research Location: 
BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre
Year: 
2018