Patient-provider relationships, HIV, and adherence: requisites for a partnership

Soc Work Health Care. 2006;42(3-4):209-24. doi: 10.1300/J010v42n03_13.


This paper analyzes data collected through focus groups of patients at an outpatient AIDS clinic at a New York medical center. Seven focus groups were conducted with 42 HIV+ patients, and verbatim transcripts of focus group sessions were analyzed through a combination of ethnographic and content analysis. We examined patients' reports of interactions with and attitudes toward their providers and attempted to define what elements in the provider-patient relationship are necessary to enable patients to become more integrally involved in the management of their illness. Participants' statements emerged as consistent with three themes: (a) dynamics of provider-to-patient communication; (b) dynamics of patient-to-provider communication; and (c) dynamics of collaboration. Each of these themes is discussed in terms of its implications for creating patient-provider relationships based on mutual-participation, and requisites for effecting meaningful patient-provider partnerships are outlined.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology
  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Participation
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Social Medicine
  • Social Work


  • HIV Protease Inhibitors