Barriers and facilitators to adherence for antiretroviral therapy: the perspectives of patients from a wellness center in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
Introduction: Patients’ non-adherence to antiretroviral treatment remains a public health concern in many developing countries, especially in South Africa.
Objectives: The objective of the study was to explore the barriers and facilitators of patients' ART adherence in one health care facility in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, and descriptive design was employed to collect data using a semi-structured interview guide through individual in-depth interviews among twenty (20) purposively selected patients. The thematic analysis approach was used to generate themes from the data.
Results: A majority of the participants were female (n=12, 60%), married (n=13, 65%), and employed (n=12, 60%). Barriers to ART adherence include insufficient medical staff at the health center and waiting time being too long. Facilitators included service providers' positive attitude, clear instructions for taking medication, benefits of adhering to ART, and dangers of defaulting treatment.
Conclusion: Barriers and facilitators for adherence included several factors related to the health system, health care workers, and the patients. Achievement of optimal adherence to ART requires the commitment of both patients and providers.
Keywords: ART; Barriers; Facilitators; HIV/AIDS; South Africa.
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