Enhancing Patient Navigation with Contingent Incentives to Improve Healthcare Behaviors and Viral Load Suppression of Persons with HIV and Substance Use

Maxine L. Stitzer, Alexis S. Hammond, Tim Matheson, James L. Sorensen, Daniel J Feaster, Rui Duan, Lauren Gooden, Carlos Del Rio, Lisa R. Metsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This secondary analysis compares health behavior outcomes for two groups of HIV+ substance users randomized in a 3-arm trial [1] to receive Patient Navigation with (PN+CM) or without (PN) contingent financial incentives (CM). Mean age of participants was 45 years; the majority was male (67%), African American (78%), unemployed (35%), or disabled (50%). Behaviors incentivized for PN+CM were (1) attendance at HIV care visits and (2) verification of an active HIV medication prescription. Incentives were associated with shorter time to treatment initiation and higher rates of behaviors during the 6-month intervention with exception of month 6 HIV care visits. Median HIV care visits were 3 (IQR 2-4) for PN+CM versus 1.5 (IQR 0-3) for PN (Wilcoxon p < 0.001); median validated medication checks were 4 (IQR 2-6) for PN+CM versus 1 (IQR 0-3) for PN (Wilcoxon p < 0.001). Viral suppression rates at end of treatment were not significantly different for the two groups but were directly related to the number of behaviors completed for both care visits (χ2(1) = 7.69, p = 0.006) and validated medication (χ2(1) = 8.49, p = 0.004). Results support use of incentives to increase performance of key healthcare behaviors. Adjustments to the incentive program may be needed to achieve greater rates of sustained health behavior change that result in improved viral load outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018



  • contingency management
  • HIV healthcare
  • medication adherence
  • patient navigation
  • substance users
  • viral suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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