HSR&D Citation Abstract
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The relationship between gastrointestinal symptom attribution, bothersomeness, and antiretroviral adherence among adults with HIV.
Swan H, Reisman JI, McDannold SE, Glickman ME, McInnes DK, Gifford AL. The relationship between gastrointestinal symptom attribution, bothersomeness, and antiretroviral adherence among adults with HIV. AIDS Care. 2018 Aug 1; 30(8):997-1003.
Patients who attribute their symptoms to HIV medications, rather than disease, may be prone to switching antiretrovirals (ARVs) and experience poor retention/adherence to care. Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (e.g., nausea/vomiting) are often experienced as a side effect of ARVs, but little is known about the relationship of symptom attribution and bothersomeness to adherence. We hypothesized that attribution of a GI symptom to ARVs is associated with a reduction in adherence, and that this relationship is moderated by the bothersomeness of the symptom. Data for our analysis come from the pre-randomization enrollment period of a larger study testing an adherence improvement intervention. Analyses revealed that patients with diarrhea who attributed the symptom to ARVs (compared to those who did not) had significantly worse adherence. We did not find a significant moderating effect of bothersomeness on this relationship. Incorporating patient beliefs about causes of symptoms into clinical care may contribute to improved symptom and medication management, and better adherence.