Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley

Abstract

Currently there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. The only way to deter progression of this disease is through regular prophylactic and curative treatment regimens. Thus, it is critical that patients are compliant with their outpatient medical appointments. Despite this, high rates of noncompliance have been reported among patients with HIV/AIDS. In addition, little attention has been directed toward establishing causal factors of this noncompliance. The present study represents one of the first efforts to elucidate psychosocial, illness, and demographic factors associated with compliance with outpatient, HIV-specific treatments. The results of this study indicate noncompliance with medical appointments is a significant problem. One in five patients dropped out of the clinic before completing their intake assessment and 35% of scheduled medical appointments were not attended. Patients with lower levels of social support and males were more likely to drop out of the clinic system before seeing a physician. Additionally, CD$\sb4$ counts at clinic intake, heterosexual orientation, African-American race, and female gender were significantly associated with non-attendance of scheduled appointments during the year following patients' clinic intake, with CD$\sb4$ counts and heterosexual orientation accounting for the greatest amount of variance in patients' nonattendance. Although emotional distress was not associated with clinic attendance, significantly elevated levels of anxiety and depression were found. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.

ISBN

9780591133653

Pages

76

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