Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848
FRANK, Janice and DUNCAN, Norman. Speaking to experts and patients: Recommendations for improving antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.1, pp.20-28. ISSN 2071-9736.
This article reports on the findings of a study that aimed to explore experts' and patients' opinions and recommendations regarding adherence to antiretroviral medication. This study was prompted firstly by the lack of existing local research on adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and secondly by the importance of adherence, given the recent introduction of ART to the public health sector. Four experts and seven patients were interviewed. The experts had worked within the HIV/AIDS field for at least two years while the patients (chosen from public antiretroviral roll-out programmes) had been on ART for at least six months. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic content analysis. This article focuses specifically on the recommendations for improving adherence that emerged from the experts' and patients' interviews. While the experts and patients generated two fairly distinct sets of recommendations (clearly informed by their different experiences and knowledge), both groups emphasised the importance of the mediating effects of social support and the healthcare provider-patient relationship in adherence to ART medication.
Keywords : HIV/AIDS; antiretroviral medication; experts; patients; healthcare.