Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Health

First Advisor's Name

Jessy G. Dévieux

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Consuelo Beck-Sague

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

H. Virginia McCoy

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Hafiz Khan

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


ART, adherence, Haiti, HIV/AIDS, alcohol abuse, female

Date of Defense



Purpose: Over half the HIV-infected persons in the Caribbean, the second most HIV-impacted region in the world, live in Haiti. Using secondary data from a parent study, this research assessed the effects of psychological and social factors on antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among Haitian, HIV-positive, female alcohol users.

Theoretical Foundation and Research Questions: Using the Theory of Planned Behavior/Reasoned Action and the Information, Motivation, Behavior skills model as guiding theoretical frameworks, the study examined the effectiveness of an adapted cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM-A) intervention in improving ART adherence. The effect of psychological factors (depression, anxiety, beliefs about medicine, and social support), social factors (stigma, relationship status, and educational attainment), and alcohol on adherence to ART was assessed.

Methods: The sample consisted of 116 female ART patients who were randomly assigned to the CBSM-A intervention or the wait-list control group. Participants completed intervention sessions as well as pre- and post-test assessments. Analyses of variance, t-tests, and point biserial correlations were used to test hypotheses.

Results: Surprisingly, ART adherence rates significantly decreased for both groups combined [F (1, 108) = 8.79, p = .004]; there was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups with regard to the magnitude of change between baseline and post assessment. On average, depression decreased significantly among participants in the CBSM-A group only [(t (62) = 5.54, p < .001)]. For both groups combined, alcohol use significantly decreased between baseline and post-assessment [(F (1, 78) = 34.70, p < .001)]; there was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups with regard to the magnitude of change between baseline and post-assessment. None of the variables were significantly correlated with ART adherence.

Discussion: Adherence to ART did not improve in this sample, nor were any of the variables significantly associated with adherence. The findings suggest that additional supportive and psychological services may be needed in order to promote higher adherence to ART among HIV-positive females. More research may be needed on this sample; a focus on mental health issues, partner conflict, family and sexual history may allow for better targeting and more successful interventions.





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