The relationship between perceived social support and adherence to antiretroviral medications among adolescents with HIV infection

Date

2004-05

Authors

Simon, Cara L.

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Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive, correlational study was to examine the relationship between perceived social support and adherence to antiretroviral therapy among adolescents with HIV infection. A second goal of the study was to identify factors that adolescents with HIV infection use to increase their adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Lastly, the study examined the validity of patient selfreport as a measure of medication adherence among adolescents with HIV infection. The study explored three research questions:

  1. Does perceived social support increase adherence to antiretroviral medications among adolescents with HIV infection?
  2. What factors do adolescents with HIV infection report as affecting adherence to antiretroviral medications?
  3. Is there a difference in reported adherence rates to antiretroviral medications among adolescents with HIV infection when adherence rates are reported anonymously versus verbally to the investigator? Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the sample demographics. Pearson's Product Moment Correlation was used to explore the relationship between social support and adherence. Content analysis was used to determine factors used by adolescents to increase adherence. Paired sample t-test was used to test for differences between adherence scores. The sample of 63 adolescents (a) were 11 to 18 years of age, (b) could read and understand English, and (c) were prescribed antiretroviral medications. No significant relationship was found between social support and adherence to antiretroviral medications. The content analysis analyzing factors associated with adherence to antiretroviral therapy discovered that social support, "just remembering", associating medications with activities of daily living, using timers, pillboxes, and a standardized time facilitated remembering medications. The findings regarding accuracy of adherence reports indicated that self-report via interview versus anonymous report is similar.

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Keywords

Health and environmental sciences, AIDS, Adolescents, Antiretroviral, HIV, Immune deficiency, Medications, Social support

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