The care paradigm for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has changed from managing an infectious condition with a suboptimal prognosis, to managing a long-term chronic disease. The wellness thermometer is a tool that was developed to assist with monitoring the biological, psychological, social and spiritual well-being of patients with HIV.
Aim To evaluate the effectiveness of using the wellness thermometer in healthcare consultations with patients with HIV.
Method This was a service evaluation that was undertaken in three UK HIV clinics in 2014. After using the wellness thermometer, patients and healthcare professionals completed a survey to indicate whether they felt the tool improved their consultations.
Results A total of 231 patients completed the survey. It was found that 80% (n=185) of patients felt the wellness thermometer helped to identify their concerns, while 79% (n=182) of patients felt the wellness thermometer improved their conversation with the healthcare professional. Of the 12 healthcare professionals who completed the survey, most felt that the tool helped patients to identify their concerns (n=10) and that it was easy to use (n=11).
Conclusion There are several benefits associated with using the wellness thermometer in healthcare consultations, and it may support patients with HIV to report any concerns they have in relation to their treatment and quality of life. The authors envisage that the tool will become a routine part of the care of these patients.