The development of a scale to assess structural barriers to adherence to antiretroviral therapy

Coetzee, Bronwyne Jo'sean (2011-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As the only effective treatment for HIV/AIDS, adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is critical for successful treatment outcomes. Despite its open availability since the national rollout in 2004, adherence to ART has remained sub-optimal and the number of individuals shifted to the more expensive second-line therapy on steady increase. The literature reports more commonly on individual, psychological, and behavioural barriers to treatment. However, there has been a vast interest in the structural barriers that prohibit adherence to ART. In previous research, my colleagues and I identified the following structural barriers to treatment adherence: stigma-related barriers, the disincentives associated with disability grants, poor relationships with clinic staff, lack of privacy at clinics for counselling and treatment, transport difficulties in travelling to the clinic, long patient waiting times, food insecurity, substance abuse and the absence of substance abuse programmes, and migration. The data were arrived at by means of triangulated qualitative interviews obtained from patients, patient advocates, doctors, and nurses. Together, these qualitative data formed phase 1 of this study. The next step or phase 2, in this research was to develop a valid and reliable quantitative instrument based on these qualitative data. Therefore the primary aim of the study presented in this thesis was to identify the underlying factor structure of four scales aimed at measuring adherence at two levels namely, adherence to clinic attendance, and adherence to pill-taking. After sampling a group of almost 300 persons living with HIV (PLWH) four valid and reliable scales assessing structural barriers to adherence to ART were derived at with Cronbach alpha coefficients ranging from 0.87 to 0.91. For each scale, a general or higher order factor was determined by means of hierarchical transformation suggesting that the items on each of the scales were dominated by a single underlying factor. The findings of this research suggest that it is possible to assess the structural barriers to adherence that PLWH face on a daily basis. With a proper means, such as these scales, to assess structural barriers to adherence to ART clinicians may be able to identify patients who are likely to default and provide adequate attention to the most distressing barriers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Antiretrovirale terapie (ART) is die enigste effektiewe behandeling teen MIV/Vigs. Behandeling met hierdie terapie kan slegs suksesvol voltooi word indien die medikasie ononderbroke en gereeld geneem word. Alhoewel medikasie vrylik beskikbaar was sedertdien die nasionale bekendstelling in 2004, het die aantal individue wat na duurder tweede lyn terapie oorgegaan het toegeneem. Die volhoubaarheid van ART was dus nie optimaal nie. Dit kan toegeskryf word aan individuele -, sielkundige - en gedragstruikelblokke tydens behandeling wat tans baie aandag geniet in die literatuur. Om by te voeg, strukturele hindernisse tot ART geniet ook tans baie aandag. Met hierdie as agtergrond, was die primêre doel van die studie om die onderliggende faktor struktuur van vier skale wat strukturele hindernisse tot ART op twee vlakke meet, naamlik getroue kliniek bywoning en neem van medikasie, te indentifiseer. Ons het met vorige navorsing die volgende strukturele hindernisse tot ART geidentifiseer: stigma-verwante hindernisse, hindernisse wat verband hou met ongeskiktheidstoelaes, swak verhoudings met kliniek personeel, die gebrek aan privaatheid by klinieke in terme van berading en behandeling, vervoerprobleme, lang wagtye vir pasiënte, voedselonsekerheid, dwelmmisbruik en die afwesigheid van middelmisbruik-programme, asook migrasie. Data aangaande bogenoemde strukturele hindernisse is ingesamel deur middel van kwalitatiewe onderhoude met pasiënte, pasiënt-advokate, dokters en verpleegsters (fase 1). Gedurende fase 2 van hierdie studie is 'n geldige en betroubare kwantitatiewe instrument op grond van hierdie kwalitatiewe data ontwikkel. 'n Steekproef van ongeveer 300 MIV-geinfekteerde individue het deelgeneem. Vier geldige en betroubare skale is ontwikkel ten opsigte van die assessering van strukturele hindernisse in terme van gereelde gebruik van antiretrivale middels, met Cronbach alpha koëffisiënte tussen 0.87 en 0.91. Vir elke skaal is 'n algemene of hoër-orde faktor bepaal deur middel van hiërargiese transformasie wat daarop dui dat die items op elk van die skale gekenmerk is deur 'n enkele onderliggende faktor. Ons bevindinge dui daarop dat dit moontlik is om die strukturele hindernisse wat MIV individue daagliks tot ART ondervind te meet. Met die gebruik van hierdie skale sal klinici dus in staat wees om pasiënte te identifiseer wat moontlik van ART sal afwyk of die terapie sal staak met die klem op mees onstellende hindernisse.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17788
This item appears in the following collections: