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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The value of weekly short message service interventions targeting medication adherence : a multi-national economic evaluation in HIV and tuberculosis infection Patel, Anik


Introduction: The World Health Organization has ambitious goals to eliminate AIDS and TB globally. However, the plan is expensive and financial commitment to achieve this goal is uncertain. Mobile phone-based short message service (SMS) interventions have demonstrated the ability to improve HIV drug therapy adherence. My objective was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of SMS-based adherence interventions in three settings, which have unique epidemics and health systems, yet struggle with similar adherence barriers. In this thesis, I also consider the value of conducting a cost-effectiveness evaluation before, during and after a randomized trial. Method: This thesis has three parts. First, I evaluated the cost-effectiveness of SMS-based HIV drug adherence interventions in Kenya, where the interventions were first developed. Second, I evaluated the burden of non-adherence and cost sensitivity of SMS-based adherence interventions for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) drug therapy in British Columbia, where a trial of an SMS-based adherence intervention is underway. Finally, I evaluated 5,836 combinations of 15 HIV interventions, to understand the role of SMS interventions as part of a combination HIV intervention in India where a trial was being planned. Value was expressed in terms of incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), which were a function of incremental costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Results: In Kenya, the SMS interventions were highly cost-effective in the base case (ICER=$1,389/QALY), and remained cost-effective across most sensitivity analyses. In British Columbia, hypothetical interventions that brought the population to full adherence to LTBI drug therapy could cost up to $450 per person per year and remain cost-effective. SMS interventions were least sensitive to cost and would likely be cost-effective if their efficacy were confirmed. Finally, in India, the SMS interventions were cost saving and were part of 4 of the 5 most efficient combination interventions out of 5,836 possible combinations. Conclusion: The SMS interventions are cost-effective or cost saving when compared to the standard of care in multiple settings. Findings support the implementation of SMS interventions as part of HIV and TB care and suggest they could play an essential role in global containment of these diseases.

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