January 3, 2011
The chief purpose of the current report, the first of a three-phase study of the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in northern Thailand, "was to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors contributing to adherence in patients taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)," the authors wrote. The knowledge gained was used in Phase II "to inform a number of interventions aimed at improving medication adherence in patients commencing HAART for the first time."
The study's subjects were 32 PLWHA over age 18 who had taken HAART for at least three months. The project's qualitative component used a multiple case study approach to report on the experiences of patients on HAART. Its quantitative component included the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale and a demographic survey of respondents; these data provided descriptive statistics of the research population and assisted in the interpretation of the qualitative data.
"The findings identified a number of social, clinical, and economic factors influencing adherence to HAART," the authors wrote. "The findings demonstrated that improved adherence not only led to improved clinical outcomes, but also the overall quality of life of PLWHA."