Title page for ETD etd-08052008-122226

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Moratioa, Gugulethu
URN etd-08052008-122226
Document Title Psychosocial factors that affect adherence to antiretroviral therapy amongst HIV/AIDS patients at Kalafong hospital
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Ms A Pauw Supervisor
  • South Africa
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • Kalafong hospital
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • patients
Date 2008-04-14
Availability unrestricted

This research focuses on the psychosocial factors that affect adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) amongst HIV/AIDS patients at Kalafong Hospital. Even though the development of such regimens has helped turn HIV infection in the United States into a relatively manageable, though still serious chronic disease, compliance remains one of the major challenges in managing medication for those patients living with HIV/AIDS. This is particularly relevant given the high adherence rate (95%) required to obtain a successful long-lasting effect. In South Africa non-compliance to HAART is an under-explored phenomenon. Consequently, an understanding of factors influencing compliance is still incomplete.

A qualitative study that investigates non-adherence to medication in HIV/AIDS patients was undertaken at Kalafong Hospital. This study aimed to understand patientsí psychosocial difficulties resulting in non-adherence. The study was approached in terms of the health belief model (HBM), which addresses individual characteristics pertaining to change, the transtheoretical change model (TTM) and the motivational interviewing model (MI), which address both individual and social contexts pertaining to change. The findings are designed for use by healthcare professionals as a proactive compliance enhancement tool. Participants were recruited through referrals by the medical staff to the researcher. The criteria included that participants had relapsed due to non-compliance with drug therapy. Participants that were currently experiencing difficulties with adherence were also included in the study. Males and females aged between 20 and 40 were included in the study. Fifteen participants between the ages of 20 and 40 participated in the study (13 females and two males).

The data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews and follow-up unstructured questions. The interviews were audio recorded and field notes were taken. Data were analysed qualitatively. Sixteen themes emerged and were further classified into two categories: individual and social context. The themes were then compared and integrated with the literature. The study concludes that psychosocial factors such as support from family, friends and healthcare workers was found to be of utmost importance in encouraging adherence. Medication can only prolong a patientís life if the psychosocial context in which the patient is embedded is considered in the treatment plan.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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