Get access

Assessment of side effects coping practices of HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy


K. A. Agu, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, 300001, Nigeria. E-mail:



The study assessed coping practices to HIV treatment side effects among HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in selected hospitals in Nigeria.


In a cross-sectional study, Side Effects Coping (SECope) instrument was administered to 3650 HIV-infected patients receiving ART in 36 hospitals. Patients were provided pre-treatment information on side effects of antiretroviral drugs. Factor analysis was performed using principal components extraction with varimax rotation. Factors selected for rotation had eigenvalues >1. Mean scale scores above midpoint of 3.18 on five-point scale were regarded as positive coping practices and below as negative practices. Chi-Square was used for inferential statistics; P < 0.05 used to determine statistical significance.


Mean of SECope instrument return rates was 47.5% (95%CI, 37.1–57.9). Data from 2329 (63.8%) participants were analyzed: 63.1% females and 63.9% aged 25 to 44 years old. The mean SECope scale score (±SD) was 3.18 (±0.80); mean subscale scores (±SD) were 3.52 (±0.20) positive emotion focused coping, 2.82 (±0.18) information seeking, 2.57 (±0.30) social support seeking, 2.34 (±0.39) taking side effect medications, and 4.43 (±0.10) non-adherence. Five extracted factors accounted for 67.2% of cumulative variability. All items had very significant loadings of 0.50 or greater. All subscales except positive emotion focused coping were associated with age (p < 0.05). Non-adherence and information seeking subscales were associated with employment status (p < 0.05). Taking side effect medications was associated with educational status (p < 0.05).


The study reported positive coping practices in positive emotion focused coping and non-adherence subscales. Non-adherence as a coping strategy was not significant contrary to previous research finding. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Get access to the full text of this article