Adherence of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients to antiretroviral therapy

Nina Singh, Stephen M. Berman, Susan Swindells, Janice C. Justis, Jeffrey A. Mohr, Cheryl Squier, Marilyn M. Wagener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


The impact of demographic, psychosocial, and medical regimen-related variables on adherence of 123 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients to antiretroviral therapy was assessed by means of refill methodology. Satisfaction with social support (P = .029), problem-focused coping (P = .027), and active-behavioral coping (P = .011) correlated significantly with adherence, whereas loss of motivation (P = .006), hopelessness (P = .16), and avoidant coping (p = .015) correlated with nonadherence. At the 6-month follow-up, the mean CD4 cell count differed significantly among adherent versus nonadherent patients (a mean increase of 78/mm3 vs. a mean decrease of 5/mm3; P = .018). Adherence did not correlate with the number of antiretroviral medications consumed per day (mean, 3.0 vs. 2.5). Non-Caucasian patients were more likely to be nonadherent than Caucasian patients (relative risk, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-5.3; P = .013); this difference was not explained by age, education, employment, income, history of intravenous drug use, or medical regimen. Non-Caucasian patients, however, were less satisfied with their social support (P = .04) and informational support (P = .016) and were more likely to utilize emotion- focused coping (P = .01). Thus, satisfaction with social support and coping style significantly impacted adherence and likely accounted for the observed racial difference in adherence among HIV-infected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-830
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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