Psychological Burden and Medication Adherence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Positive Patients

  •  Yunhee Park    


BACKGROUND: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which is a combination therapy that uses antiretroviral drugs, represents the only available therapy for combating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. For Korean patients with HIV, it is difficult to maintain an optimal medication. The HIV- positive Korean patients that suffer from psychological burdens have low levels of medication adherence, which can lead to an increased mortality rate and a deteriorated quality of life.

AIM: The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of medication adherence of Korean patients with HIV, and to identify the pathway through which the psychological burden impact medication adherence.

METHODS: With a sample of 265 HIV-positive patients, the direct and indirect effects of the psychological burden on treatment adherence were estimated with structural equation modeling.

RESULTS: The variable that had a significant direct effect on medication adherence was self-management (β = .31, p = .002). Psychological burden was found to have a significant impact on medication adherence mediated by self-management (β = -.15, p = .002).

CONCLUSION: These results revealed that continuous monitoring of patients’ psychological burdens, as well as the development and application of intervention programs focused on psychological support and self-management, are necessary to improve medication adherence.

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