Primary Source: Patterns, correlates, and barriers to medication adherence among persons prescribed new treatments for HIV disease. Catz, Sheryl L.; Kelly, Jeffrey A.; Bogart, Laura M.; Benotsch, Eric G.; McAuliffe, Timothy L. Health Psychology. 19(2), Mar 2000, 124-133.
Secondary Source: Social Support and Confidence Predict AIDS Patient’s Adherence to Complex Medication Regimens Healthlink 2000-03-29.
Excerpted from abstract:
Of all the factors examined only patients’ confidence and their perceptions of social support independently predicted adherence. (Overall, nonadherent patients were also more likely to be depressed and have more side-effects than adherent patients, but these did not independently predict compliance/noncompliance.)
According to lead author Sheryl L. Catz, PhD, Our findings suggest that patients with limited emotional support should receive mental health and support services not only to improve psychological functioning but also, potentially, to enhance treatment adherence. Interventions that enhance a persons’ perceived confidence in adhering to treatment regimens also seem particularly important, especially at the time when the therapy is initiated.
Evidence that social support and self-confidence have a positive impact on adherence is heartening.
My only cautionary note has to do with the implications drawn.1 The finding that patients who are more self-confident and feel themselves more supported by peers and family are more adherent to treatment does not necessarily mean that interventions designed to imbue less confident and more isolated patients with these traits will render those individuals more adherent, even if the interventions are successful. Learned self-confidence may or may not be equivalent to “naturally occurring” self-confidence. As usual, more research is necessary.
- The authors, it should be noted, set forth these ideas as hoped-for speculations, not fact.↩