An investigation of the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and adherence to medication in HIV

Stallworthy, Pippa (1999). An investigation of the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and adherence to medication in HIV. PhD thesis The Open University.



New drug treatments have revolutionised the care of people with HIV, but they require exceptionally high levels of adherence. Research into the risk factors has been predominantly empirically rather than theoretically driven. Studies of adherence in other conditions have established the importance of perceived self-efficacy. Research studies exploring this relationship in HIV were conducted when the only available treatment was monotherapy, or with an exclusively female sample.

This study attempted to investigate the role of self-efficacy to adherence to antiretroviral medications in a UK sample of HIV positive people. It also aimed to explore the relationship between self-efficacy and depression. Finally, the relationship between self-efficacy and coping strategies was also considered. The study employed a cross-sectional design, with all participants completing a questionnaire at one time point.

Multiple regression analysis of the predictors of dose delays established that the two medication-specific self-efficacy measures accounted for 42.9% of the variance. No other predictors emerged from a stepwise regression. Use of recreational drugs was the only predictor of dose omissions to emerge from a multiple regression. However, when drug use was controlled for, self-efficacy for adherence added a further 12.7% of the variance.

The findings of this study suggest that self-efficacy is related to adherence although the direction of causality remains to be established. Clearly, further research is needed to clarify the role of self-efficacy. Should it prove to be as significant as the results of this study imply, it is quickly and easily assessed and, moreover amenable to intervention.

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