Strategies Utilized by Professional Nurses in the Primary Health Care Facilities Regarding Adherence of Patients to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) in Capricorn District, Limpopo Province, South Africa
The success of antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection, though widespread and resounding, has been limited by inadequate adherence to its unforgiving regimens especially over a long term. While health care professionals may not be able to predict adherence, they can help to overcome barriers to adherence and take steps to improve it. The aim of the study was to explore and describe the strategies utilized by professional nurses in the primary health care facilities regarding adherence to antiretroviral therapy in Capricorn District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. A qualitative research approach was used to describe the strategies that are utilized by professional nurses in the primary health care facilities in the district, to refer patients to Mankweng Hospital which is a tertiary hospital in the Province. Unstructured interview guides and observations were used to collect data until saturation was reached. The data were analysed qualitatively using Tesch’s open coding method. Eighteen professional nurses working in the primary health care facilities participated in the study. The findings revealed that the strategies utilized by professional nurses in the primary health care facilities to improve adherence to ART were described. Information and education, health worker and adherence guidelines, use of adherence partner or treatment buddy, addressing religious beliefs, communication skills, community mobilization and continuous counselling were the strategies that were utilized by professional nurses in the primary health care facilities to improve adherence to ART.
Keywords: Professional Nurses, Adherence, Antiretroviral Therapy, Antiretroviral Drugs, HIV/AIDS Patients, Strategies