The impact of neurobehavioral features on medication adherence in HIV: evidence from longitudinal models

AIDS Care. 2014 Jan;26(1):79-86. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2013.802275. Epub 2013 Jun 11.


Effective antiretroviral therapy has led to substantial improvements in health-related outcomes among individuals with HIV. Despite advances in HIV pharmacotherapy, suboptimal medication adherence remains a significant barrier to successful treatment. Although several factors have been associated with medication adherence in the extant literature, study assessing the effects of some of the neurobehavioral features specific to HIV has been limited. Moreover, although there is a growing body of literature measuring medication adherence in HIV prospectively, few employ advanced statistical methodologies suited to handle advanced models with multiple predictors that would strengthen our understanding of medication adherence trajectories in HIV. This study sought to integrate traditionally assessed predictors of medication adherence with neurobehavioral features of HIV in a longitudinal study of medication adherence to combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). The current study used multilevel modeling to examine a wide arrangement of categories of factors - demographic, medication related, psychosocial, and neurobehavioral - on medication adherence. The sample consisted of 235 HIV+ individuals whose medication adherence was monitored over the course of six months using electronic monitoring devices. After controlling for the effects of demographic, medication, and psychosocial factors, neurobehavioral features added predictive validity to the model. In the final model, simultaneously controlling for the effects of each of the predictors within all the categories, age, self-efficacy, executive functioning, apathy, and frequency of stimulant use emerged as unique individual predictors of average medication adherence across the 6-month study. Self-efficacy and irritability predicted changes in medication adherence over time. Adherence behavior is multidetermined. Adequate assessment of these factors, combined with timely intervention, appears to be warranted in order to boost adherence rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Behavioral Symptoms / complications
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Self Efficacy