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Table 1 Operational definitions of the variables related to retention in care

From: How to improve patient retention in an antiretroviral treatment program in Ethiopia: a mixed-methods study

Variables Definition Numerator Denominator
Retention All patients who are not registered as deceased or LTFU for any reason Number of patients alive and on ART Number of patients alive and on ART plus death plus LTFU
Loss to follow-up Patients who miss scheduled visits to the clinic for more than three months after the last visit Not applicable (NA) NA
Transfer out It refers to the official transfer of the patient to another clinic NA NA
Transfer in It refers to the official transfer of the patient from another clinic NA NA
Cumulative retention The total retention by the end of the calendar among patients ever started on ART Number of patients alive and on ART by the end of the calendar The total number of patients ever started on ART
Current retention The retention rate during a specific “calendar” among patients who were on ART sometime during the “calendar” Number of patients alive and on ART by the end of the “calendar” Number of patients alive and on ART by the end of the calendar plus number of patients who died plus LTFU during the “calendar”
Calendar The time during which the level of the “current retention” is estimated NA NA