HIV medicine 2017 08 1619(1) 49-58 doi 10.1111/hiv.12542
Thanks to the success of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), HIV-infected patients can have almost a normal life expectancy. This has resulted in an aging HIV-infected population with other chronic comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and depression. Our hypothesis is that patients’ perceptions of and attitudes towards their cART, which is perceived as crucial to their survival, differ from their beliefs about their co-treatments, and this may have an impact on their medication adherence.
We used the French version of the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire (BMQ-f) to measure the perceptions of patients about their co-treatments and the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire for Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (BMQ-HAART) to measure their beliefs about their cART in a representative sample (n = 150) of patients enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) and followed at the Infectious Disease Service at the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. The survey was administered to all eligible patients by the order of their scheduled appointments at the end of their medical visit. The BMQ comprises two subscores: Specific-Necessity (5 identical items in BMQ-f and BMQ-HAART) and Specific-Concerns (also 5 identical items in BMQ-f and BMQ-HAART). The subscores were standardized by dividing the score scale by the number of questions in the scale, resulting in a range of responses between 1 (low) and 5 (high). Self-reported medication adherence was measured using the SHCS Adherence Questionnaire (SHCS-AQ). Adherence was defined as not missing any dose or missing one dose of the treatment in the past 4 weeks. Sociodemographic variables were retrieved by reviewing the SHCS database.
A response rate of 73% (109 of 150) was achieved. A total of 105 patients were included in the analysis: their median age was 56 [interquartile range (IQR) 51, 63] years and 74 were male (70%). Eighty-seven patients (83%) were adherent to cART and 75 (71%) were adherent to their co-treatments (P = 0.0001). The standardized mean responses for the BMQ Specific-Necessity subscores were 4.46 [standard deviation (SD): 0.58] and 2.86 (SD: 1.02) for cART and co-treatments, respectively (P < 0.0001). For Specific-Concerns, the standardized mean responses were 2.9 (SD: 1.02) for cART and 4.09 (SD: 1.02) (P < 0.0001) for co-treatments. cART and co-treatment concerns increased as the number of co-treatments increased (P = 0.03 and P < 0.0001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS
Patients had higher Necessity and lower Concerns scores for their cART in comparison with their co-treatments. A higher percentage of patients reported being adherent to cART compared with the co-treatments that they reported they were most likely to miss. Further research using a bigger sample size and more objective measures of adherence is needed to explore the association between adherence and patients’ perceptions.