Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 189–197 | Cite as

Benefits of Adherence to Psychotropic Medications on Depressive Symptoms and Antiretroviral Medication Adherence Among Men and Women Living with HIV/AIDS

  • Dean G. CruessEmail author
  • Seth C. Kalichman
  • Christine Amaral
  • Connie Swetzes
  • Chauncey Cherry
  • Moira O. Kalichman
Original Article



Psychotropic medications are commonly used for depressive symptoms among people living with HIV/AIDS.


We examined the relationships between adherence to psychotropic medications, depressive symptoms, and antiretroviral adherence.


We assessed depressive symptoms among 324 people living with HIV/AIDS across a 3-month period (70% men; mean age 45 years; 90% African–American). Psychotropic and antiretroviral adherence was assessed using monthly, unannounced telephone pill counts. Multiple-regression and mediation analyses were utilized to examine associations under investigation.


Greater depressive symptoms were associated with lower antiretroviral and psychotropic medication adherence. Greater adherence to psychotropic medications regardless of medication class was positively related to higher antiretroviral adherence. Greater adherence to psychotropic medications also significantly mediated the association between depressive symptoms and antiretroviral adherence.


This study demonstrates the benefits of adherence to psychotropic medications on both depressive symptoms and antiretroviral adherence. Future work examining psychotropic medication adherence on disease outcomes in people living with HIV/AIDS is warranted.


Medication adherence Depression HIV 



This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), grant R01MH071164.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean G. Cruess
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Seth C. Kalichman
    • 1
  • Christine Amaral
    • 1
  • Connie Swetzes
    • 1
  • Chauncey Cherry
    • 1
  • Moira O. Kalichman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  3. 3.StorrsUSA

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