Physician Beliefs about Antiretroviral Adherence Communication

Roberts, Kathleen Johnston
September 2000
AIDS Patient Care & STDs;Sep2000, Vol. 14 Issue 9, p477
Academic Journal
Adherence to antiretroviral regimens is thought to be imperative for HIV-positive patients. However, little is known about health care professionals' willingness to discuss adherence with patients, nor what barriers, if any, may impede their adherence communication. The aims of the study were to examine physicians' beliefs regarding: (1) the efficacy of adherence communication, (2) the barriers which impede such communication, and (3) their roles and responsibilities regarding adherence communication. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 physicians who specialize in providing care to HIV-positive patients. Results showed that most physicians believed that communicating with patients about adherence issues was important, even though doing so may not have an immediate impact on patients' behaviors. Physicians believed that adherence communication was a good use of their time and fell within their role as a primary care professional. However, time constraints were cited as a barrier to performing adherence communication, indicating that physicians may do less communicating about adherence than may be optimal if they are burdened with other tasks. Results highlight the need to develop innovative strategies, such as the use of multi-disciplinary adherence teams, to ensure that each HIV-positive patient receives the optimal amount of information about and support for adherence.


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