n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Health-related quality of life and adherence to antiretroviral treatment over a 12-month period for patients attending two public sector clinics in South Africa : patient centered treatment and care

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Expansion of the HIV treatment programme in South Africa over the last decade has resulted in wider access to antiretroviral treatment (ART), which has contributed to the increased life expectancy of HIV-positive patients. Optimal adherence (≥95%) to ART is very critical for the therapeutic success of ART and the improvement of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, patients face many barriers to cope with ART as adherence is a complex phenomenon influenced by a number of factors. This longitudinal, quantitative study was conducted at two study sites with 431 HIV patients over a period of 12 months. Adherence and HRQoL data were collected by interviewing patients every four months. The sample was predominantly female (76.1%), middle-aged (62.2%), married (68.7%) and unemployed (56.1%). Over the 12-month study period, the majority of patients (76.2%) reported optimal adherence (≥95%). Patients who reported optimal adherence also reported better HRQoL in most quality of life domains, compared to those who were < 95% adherent. Being away from home (22.8%), working (14.8%) and forgetfulness (13.8%) were the major reasons reported by patients for missing a dose of their ART. Patients missed an appointment at the clinic mainly due to work commitments (39.1%) and forgetting the appointment date (11.4%). Results also showed a significant association between adherence to ART and HRQoL over time. Barriers to ART identified in this study could guide health care professionals on appropriate interventions to improve adherence.

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