Integrative literature review of evidence-based guidelines on antiretroviral therapy adherence among adult persons living with HIV

J Adv Nurs. 2022 Jul;78(7):1909-1918. doi: 10.1111/jan.15245. Epub 2022 Apr 11.


Aim: To summarize recommendations from available evidence-based guidelines that enhance, address or guide antiretroviral therapy adherence among adult persons living with human immunodeficiency virus.

Design: An integrative literature review approach.

Data source: Guidelines were accessed through Google from the databases of the Canadian Medical Association InfoBase clinical practice database, National Guidelines Clearinghouse, Writer's Guidelines database, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, UNICEF and WHO. Databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, EBSCOhost (CINAHL, ERIC, Academic search complete, E-journals, Psych Info and MEDLINE), EMERALD INSIGHT, JSTOR, SCIENCE DIRECT and FINDPLUS were also searched, followed by a citation search. Data sources were searched between 1996 and January 2022.

Review methods: The five steps of the integrative literature review process, as described by Whittemore and Knafl, were used. These steps are as follows: step one; problem identification, step two; literature search, step three; data evaluation; step four: data analysis and the final step was data presentation.

Results: Sixteen guidelines related to antiretroviral therapy adherence were included for data extraction and synthesis. The findings revealed two themes as follows: theme 1: monitoring antiretroviral therapy adherence and theme 2: interventions to promote antiretroviral therapy adherence related to education and counselling, adherence tools, health service delivery and antiretroviral strategies.

Conclusion: Antiretroviral therapy adherence in adult persons requires both interventions as well as monitoring. The various contributing factors relating to antiretroviral therapy adherence should be further explored.

Impact: Evidence from the included guidelines can assist nurses in promoting a person's adherence to antiretroviral treatment, which could improve their health and well-being.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; adherence; antiretroviral therapy; best practice guidelines; nursing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence