Factors that influence the medication decision making of persons with HIV/AIDS: A taxonomic exploration

Cynthia K. Russell, Sheila M. Bunting, Marshall Graney, Margaret T. Hartig, Patricia Kisner, Brian Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


It is well known that patients often alter their medication regimens and that these changes may have profound consequences for their health outcomes. Not so well known are the factors that influence the medication decision making of persons managing their own treatment in their day-to-day home situations. In this study, persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) were asked about factors that affected the taking of their medications. Using semistructured interviews in this study of 57 PLWH, the authors used intensive analysis of the narratives to create taxonomies of the barriers and facilitators to taking HIV medications and the decisions that were involved. Categories of identified facilitators included motivation, factors of faith, routines, and others' influences. Categories of identified barriers included perceptions, psycho-emotional issues, provider/clinic issues, interpersonal factors, and disease and treatment factors. This study showed medication decision making to be a complex process, influenced by often-competing life and treatment issues and affected by participants' beliefs and values. These findings call for research into the everyday self-care of PLWH to understand the reasoned decision-making that PLWH use in managing not only their medications but also their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-60
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Adherence
  • Decision making
  • HIV
  • Medications
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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