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J Multidiscip Healthc. 2013 Jun 24;6:229-37. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S44204. Print 2013.

Three types of self-efficacy associated with medication adherence in patients with co-occurring HIV and substance use disorders, but only when mood disorders are present.

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  • 1Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.



Adherence with medication regimens for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a life-saving behavior for people with HIV infection, yet adherence is challenging for many individuals with co-occurring substance use and/or mood disorders. Medication-taking self-efficacy, which is the confidence that one can take one's medication as prescribed, is associated with better adherence with HIV medication. However, little is known about the influence that other kinds of self-efficacy have on adherence with HIV medication, especially among HIV-infected individuals with co-occurring substance use and/or mood disorders. We sought to examine the relationship between adherence with HIV medication among substance users and three specific kinds of self-efficacy, ie, one's confidence that one can communicate with medical providers, get support, and manage one's mood. We further sought to examine whether symptoms of depression and anxiety moderate these relationships.


Patients were recruited from three HIV clinics in the southeastern United States as part of an integrated study of treatment for HIV and substance use.


We interviewed 154 patients with HIV and substance use who reported taking HIV medications. Based on symptoms of depression and anxiety using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety, 63% had probable depression and/or anxiety. Higher levels of self-efficacy in provider communication (β = 3.86, P < 0.01), getting needed support (β = 2.82, P < 0.01), and mood management (β = 2.29, P < 0.05) were related to better self-reported adherence with HIV medication among study participants with probable depression and/or anxiety. The three kinds of self-efficacy were not associated with medication adherence among participants with HIV and substance use only.


In the search for mutable factors to improve medication adherence among individuals triply diagnosed with HIV, substance use, and mood disorders, these findings support previous research indicating the benefit of enhancing self-efficacy, and further point to three specific kinds of self-efficacy that may benefit medication adherence, ie, provider communication, getting support, and mood management.


anxiety; depression; human immunodeficiency virus; interventions; self-efficacy; substance use

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