ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Replication But, take away one drug or miss too many doses……. Viral Replication continues CD4 Decreases OIs occur Resistance emerges TREATMENT FAILURE
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 But…...…. treatment success is largely dependent on the patient’s ability to take the drugs exactly as prescribed This is known as ADHERENCE
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Adherence is….. The right drugs At the right time In the right way
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Taking the right drugs…. Each drug is carefully investigated in the laboratory to ensure maximum potency against the virus The right drugs and the right doses (i.e. number of tablets) MUST be taken Or…..sub-optimal suppression of the virus will allow viral replication and resistance to develop
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 The right time….. Taking ARVs exactly on time is very important There is usually a window period of approximately one hour but this varies with drugs and people SO – better to stick to exact same time, or viral load will increase and resistant virus may emerge!
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 The right way Some drugs have dietary restrictions (i.e taken with or without food) Ignoring these can be like only taking half a dose – you will not absorb enough of the drug for it to work properly Viral load will increase & Resistance is more likely to occur with or without
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 How much adherence is good enough? 95% 90% 100% 60% 50% 75% 20%
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 (number of pills taken / number of pills prescribed) Ann Intern Med 2000;133:21 Adherence and Viral Load
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Many studies have shown that even missing one or two doses a week can have a big impact on the chance of successful treatment
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 So……. Unfortunately, the answer is 100% Adherence
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Take all these?.....for life?..... Should I eat or not with my tablets? Will these really help me? Which drug am I supposed to take now? But they make me feel so sick? Tablets every day for the rest of my life..? How can I remember to take these every single time? How can I take these without friends & family knowing
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 A HUGE challenge….. There are many reasons why patients may struggle with adherence! It may not be their fault and It is not just about remembering to take them!
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Factors affecting Adherence Patient Factors e.g. knowledge; attitude; unstable social circumstances; support network; state of health; lifestyle; disclosed?; lack of interest; drug addiction; depression; history of non-adherence Medication Factors e.g. pill burden; side effects; timing of doses; dietary requirements Patient-Health professional relationship e.g. communication and interpersonal skills; non-judgemental attitude; open, trusting relationship Health Services e.g. accessible clinic; pharmacy; experienced, well-trained staff; patient follow-up
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Our Role! All people on ARVs need immense support and encouragement And nurses have an essential role to play recognising & understanding difficulties faced by patients supporting patients and using appropriate interventions to promote adherence
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Promoting Adherence ….requires a multidimensional, multidisciplinary, continuous approach where the patient is supported & counselled at every opportunity
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 …..from the start! Promoting adherence must start from the very beginning, prior to treatment being commenced!!
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Ready for ARVs….? Has patient disclosed to anyone? Is there support at home or through friends? Is there a treatment supporter? Is there a stable living situation? Does the patient understand ARVs, expected outcomes and side effects? Does patient understand need for intensive follow-up?
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Does the patient have a plan how to take ARVs and not miss a dose? Does the patient understand the need to take treatment for life, even if there are no symptoms or he/she feels better? Does the patient understand the impact of non- adherence? Is the patient committed to participating in on-going care?
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Take-home messages! How many tablets should I take? What do they look like? How often do I need to take them? How exact do I have to be with timing? Are there any food or storage restrictions? What will happen if I miss doses? How can I fit these in to my daily routine? What should I do if I feel unwell on these drugs?
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Practical Ideas Alarm clock Mobile phone Treatment supporter ‘Normalise’ in to daily life (e.g. TV programme, radio, meals) Pill box Colour-coded cards
ARV Nurse Training, Africaid, 2004 Remember…… These drugs are not easy! Patients must feel able to tell us that they are having difficulties or have missed doses. Only then can we support and assist them We must listen, empathise & support!