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Keywords:

  • adherence;
  • experimental design;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • nursing;
  • quality of life;
  • symptom management

Aim.  This paper reports an evaluation of the effect of symptom management programmed on drug adherence, CD4 count and virus load and the quality of life of patients with HIV/AIDS.

Background.  Patients with HIV/AIDS have to face the long-term side effects caused by highly active antiretroviral therapy regimens. There has been little research to evaluate the influence of drug intervention side effects on self-care.

Methods.  Sixty-seven patients with HIV/AIDS were randomly assigned to one-on-one teaching, group teaching, or control groups. All those in the one-on-one and group teaching groups attended a symptom management programme once a week, followed by 3 weeks of continuity and telephone counselling. Those in the control group were offered experimental intervention at the conclusion of data collection. The Customized Adherence Self-Report Questionnaire, CD4 count and virus load, and Quality of Life Index were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the symptom management programme before and at 3 months after the intervention.

Results.  Median differences on the Customized Adherence Self-Report Questionnaire, CD4 count and virus load, and quality of life in both experimental groups were statistically significantly better than in the control group.

Conclusions.  The symptom management programme can increase self-care ability in managing medication side effects in patients with HIV/AIDS.