An exploratory study of perceived barriers to antiretroviral therapy adherence amongst adolescents in Omuthiya district, Namibia

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University of Namibia
One of the most counterproductive behaviour in disease control both in clinical trials and clinical practice is non-adherence to medication especially among patients with chronic illnesses. This study sought to explore the perceived barriers to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) adherence amongst adolescents in Omuthiya District, Namibia. Omuthiya was selected because it was where the researcher resides so they identified the problem among the Omuthiya vicinity and therefore this study is a way to solve challenges faced by Omuthiya district inhabitants. To help research this study, the researcher used a qualitative and exploratory implementation design conducted within the theoretical perspective of ecological system. Participants were Ten (10) Adolescents Living with Human Immuno-Deficient Virus (ALHIV) aged 15-19 as well as Six (6) Health Care Workers as key informants. Both were purposively sampled. Data for the study were gathered through in-depth interviews using interview guides as research instrument. The study employed the thematic data analysis method. The study found that perceived barriers to non-adherence were mostly family related with the main reason being poor parental care at home. Other factors also contribute which include side effects, stigma associated with having Human Immuno-Deficient Virus (HIV) drugs and socio-economic challenges such as dietary restrictions. It was further found that health care facilities provide adequate support to all patients including ALHIV in addressing barriers to treatment adherence, however some ALHIV had a negative attitude towards ART adherence. It was also found that Health Care Workers perceive that the barriers to ART adherence amongst ALHIV are due to lack of knowledge and poor parental care at home. It is therefore recommended that the treatment regimen be thoroughly explained to ALHIV upon full disclosure and at every resupply visit to ensure they understand the importance of not defaulting. Multi sectored interventions’ including parental involvement in the adherence promotion initiatives is recommended. It is further recommended that the ALHIV receive support through adherence advocacy programs at local, district and national level
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of master of arts in social work
Adherence, Antiretroviral therapy, Adolescents