Background Medication adherence is a complex, dynamic and changing behaviour that is affected by a variety of factors, including the patient’s beliefs and life circumstances. Studies have highlighted barriers to medication adherence (e.g., unmanaged side effects or a lack of social support), as well as facilitators of medication adherence (e.g., technical simplicity of treatment and psychological acceptance of the disease). Since August 2004, in Lausanne (Switzerland), physicians have referred patients who are either experiencing or are at risk of experiencing problems with their HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART) to a routine interdisciplinary ART adherence programme. This programme consists of multifactorial intervention including electronic drug monitoring (MEMSTM). Objective This study’s objective was to identify the barriers and facilitators encountered by HIV patients with suboptimal medication adherence (≤90 % adherence over the study period). Setting The community pharmacy of the Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine in Lausanne (Switzerland). Method The study consisted of a retrospective, qualitative, thematic content analysis of pharmacists’ notes that were taken during semi-structured interviews with patients and conducted as part of the ART adherence programme between August 2004 and May 2008. Main outcome measure Barriers and facilitators encountered by HIV patients. Results Barriers to and facilitators of adherence were identified for the 17 included patients. These factors fell into three main categories: (1) cognitive, emotional and motivational; (2) environmental, organisational and social; and (3) treatment and disease. Conclusion The pharmacists’ notes revealed that diverse barriers and facilitators were discussed during medication adherence interviews. Indeed, the results showed that the 17 non-adherent patients encountered barriers and benefited from facilitators. Therefore, pharmacists should inquire about all factors, regardless of whether they have a negative or a positive impact on medication adherence, and should consider all dimensions of patient adherence. The simultaneous strengthening of facilitators and better management of barriers may allow healthcare providers to tailor care to a patient’s specific needs and support each individual patient in improving his medication-related behaviour.
HIV Interdisciplinarity Intervention Medication adherence Pharmacists Qualitative research Switzerland
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We acknowledge the members of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study for their support.
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