Measuring the potential role of frailty in apparent declining efficacy of HIV interventions
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Measuring the potential role of frailty in apparent declining efficacy of HIV interventions

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  • Alternative Title:
    HIV Clin Trials
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    In recent HIV intervention trials, intervention efficacies appear to decline over time. Researchers have attributed this to "waning," or a loss of intervention efficacy. Another possible reason is heterogeneity in infection risk or "frailty." We propose an approach to assessing the impact of frailty and waning on measures of intervention efficacy and statistical power in randomized-controlled trials.|Using multiplicative risk reduction, we developed a mathematical formulation for computing disease incidence and the incidence rate ratio (IRR) as a function of frailty and waning. We designed study scenarios, which held study-related factors constant, varied waning and frailty parameters and measured the change in disease incidence, IRR, and statistical power.|We found that frailty alone can impact disease incidence over time. However, frailty has minimal impact on the IRR. The factor that has the greatest influence on the IRR is intervention efficacy and the degree to which it is projected to wane. We also found that even moderate waning can cause an unacceptable decrease in statistical power while the impact of frailty on statistical power is minimal.|We conclude that frailty has minimal impact on trial results relative to intervention efficacy. Study resources would, therefore, be better spent on efforts to keep the intervention efficacy constant throughout the trial (e.g., enhancing the vaccine schedule or promoting treatment adherence).
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