A Pilot Study of a Mobile Intervention to Support Mental Health and Adherence Among Adolescents Living with HIV in Western Kenya

Ashley Chory, Grant Callen, Winstone Nyandiko, Tabitha Njoroge, Celestine Ashimosi, Josephine Aluoch, Michael Scanlon, Carole McAteer, Edith Apondi, Rachel Vreeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mobile technologies represent potentially novel and scalable intervention delivery platforms for adolescents living with HIV (ALWH) in low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a prospective, mixed methods pilot study to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of the WhatsApp® platform to deliver individual counseling services and facilitate peer support for ALWH in western Kenya. Thirty ALWH (17 female, mean age 15.4) on ART, engaged in HIV care and aware of their status, were enrolled. After 6 months, participants described their experiences with the intervention. Treatment adherence, stigma, and mental and behavioral health were assessed prospectively. Participants reported overall positive experiences and indicated that the platform encouraged peer network development. They endorsed potential benefits for treatment adherence, stigma reduction, and mental and behavioral health. All participants supported intervention expansion. In western Kenya, WhatsApp® was an acceptable and feasible platform for mobile counseling and peer support for ALWH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • HIV
  • Kenya
  • WhatsApp
  • mHealth

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