Previous studies have reported that forgetfulness is the most frequently mentioned reason for missed doses among patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). However, no previous study has compared the reasons given by highly nonadherent patients with the reasons given by patients with better adherence. The objective of this study was to examine further patients' self-reported reasons for missing doses of HAART and to compare the reasons given by patients with lower adherence with those given by patients with higher adherence.
All patients visiting the clinics participating in the Danish HIV cohort study during a 1-year period (July 2002 to June 2003) were eligible if they had started HAART at least 6 months previously. Consenting patients completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire based upon the adult AIDS Clinical Trial Group adherence questionnaires. Lower adherence was defined as reporting a missed dose within the preceding 4 days.
We received usable questionnaires from 840 (75%) of the 1126 eligible patients. Patients with lower adherence reported the same reasons for missed doses as patients with higher adherence (Spearman's ρ=0.952, P<0.0001). In both groups of patients the three most frequently reported reasons for missed doses were ‘simply forgot’, ‘were away from home’, and ‘had a change in daily routines’.
Patients with poorer adherence to HAART state the same reasons for missing doses as patients with better adherence, and ‘simply forgot’ is the most frequently stated reason.