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The importance of the patient–clinician relationship in adherence to antiretroviral medication


Alex Molassiotis, University of Manchester, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Coupland III, Coupland Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email:


The aim of the study was to assess dimensions of the patient–clinician relationship in relation to adherence with antiretroviral medication in a sample of HIV patients. This was a correlational evaluation, using a cross-sectional design. Thirty-eight HIV patients in two UK HIV units provided complete data. Analysis suggested that the elements of the patient–clinician relationship contributing to adherence with medication were the patient perception of being valued and respected by the clinician, the patients' ability to initiate discussions about the treatment, empowerment and level of trust placed in the nurse. The latter, and the time since starting antiretroviral treatment, were the only two variables that could predict adherence in a regression model, explaining 41% of the variance in adherence. Building trusted relationships with the patients and investing in educational and communication techniques to improve the therapeutic relationship could strongly contribute to HIV patients to maintaining high adherence rates.