Using Peplau's Theory to Examine the Psychosocial Factors Associated with HIV-infected Women's Difficulty in Taking Their Medications



Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2003


Although combination therapies slow progression of HIV disease, HIV-infected women face new challenges that must be overcome to increase their life expectancy. One challenge is adherence to strict, and often unpleasant, drug regimens. Peplau's Theory of Interpersonal Relationships provides a framework for identifying and examining factors that influence medication adherence, in particular difficulties in taking medication. A descriptive, correlational design was used to test associations between difficulty taking HIV medications and a woman's relationship with her primary healthcare provider (PHCP), depression, HIV-specific emotional and tangible support, present life satisfaction, family functioning, HIV-related symptoms, AIDS beliefs and perceptions, medication side-effects, and hope. Relationship with PHCP (F =5.30, p = . 0235) and present life satisfaction (F= 11.32, p = . 0011) explained 22% of the variance in HIV-infected women's difficulty in taking medications. This study supports the importance of a therapeutic relationship between PHCPs and patients in overcoming difficulties associated with taking HIV medications.

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