Improved Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Observed Among HIV-Infected Children Whose Caregivers had Positive Beliefs in Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Abongomera G., Cook A., Musiime V., Chabala C., Lamorde M., Abach J., Thomason M., Mulenga V., Kekitiinwa A., Colebunders R., Kityo C., Walker AS., Gibb DM.
A high level of adherence to antiretroviral treatment is essential for optimal clinical outcomes in HIV infection, but measuring adherence is difficult. We investigated whether responses to a questionnaire eliciting caregiver beliefs in medicines were associated with adherence of their child (median age 2.8 years), and whether this in turn was associated with viral suppression. We used the validated beliefs in medicine questionnaire (BMQ) to measure caregiver beliefs, and medication event monitoring system caps to measure adherence. We found significant associations between BMQ scores and adherence, and between adherence and viral suppression. Among children initiating Antiretroviral therapy (ART), we also found significant associations between BMQ 'necessity' scores, and BMQ 'necessity-concerns' scores, and later viral suppression. This suggests that the BMQ may be a valuable tool when used alongside other adherence measures, and that it remains important to keep caregivers well informed about the long-term necessity of their child's ART.