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J Edu Health Promot 2019,  8:192

Antiretroviral therapy adherence based on information, motivation, and behavioral skills model and its association with depression among HIV-positive patients: Health promotion strategy towards the 909090 target

1 Elderly Health Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
2 Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Health, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran
3 Nursing Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
4 Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran
5 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
6 Research Center of Addiction and Behavioral Sciences and Diabetes Research Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
7 Nutrition and Food Security Research Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

Date of Submission26-Jan-2019
Date of Acceptance07-Apr-2019
Date of Web Publication24-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ehsan Movahed
Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Health, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_42_19

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BACKGROUND: HIV-infected patients with poor antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence are prone to depression, and depression can exacerbate the disease condition. This study was conducted to determine ART Adherence based on Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills (IMB) Model and its association with depression among HIV-positive patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This descriptive–correlational study was carried out on people over the age of 18 years with HIV/AIDS, who referred to the Behavioral Diseases Counseling Center in Kerman City, Iran, in 2017. In this regard, 119 patients were selected using the table of random numbers. To collect the data, we used the Beck's depressioninventory-II and the IMB researcher made questionnaire to evaluate the ART adherence.
RESULTS: The results of the study reveal that a significant association was observed between the total adherence and all constructs of the IMB model (P < 0.001). Risk perception and self-efficacy had the highest mean scores regarding the ART adherence. The prevalence of depression was 71.5% among patients. Information, personal motivation, and total adherence had a significant association with depression.
CONCLUSIONS: IMB model was an appropriate and practical strategy with regard to the ART adherence among people living with HIV who are prone to depression and drug consumption is crucial for them to achieve the 90-90-90 target. This article created a questionnaire to assist policy-makers and health professionals designing interventions to improve adherence and health outcomes of ART.

Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy adherence, depression, HIV/AIDS, information, motivation, and behavioral skills model

How to cite this article:
Morowatisharifabad MA, Movahed E, Farokhzadian J, Nikooie R, Askarishahi M, Bidaki R, Hosseinzadeh M. Antiretroviral therapy adherence based on information, motivation, and behavioral skills model and its association with depression among HIV-positive patients: Health promotion strategy towards the 909090 target. J Edu Health Promot 2019;8:192

How to cite this URL:
Morowatisharifabad MA, Movahed E, Farokhzadian J, Nikooie R, Askarishahi M, Bidaki R, Hosseinzadeh M. Antiretroviral therapy adherence based on information, motivation, and behavioral skills model and its association with depression among HIV-positive patients: Health promotion strategy towards the 909090 target. J Edu Health Promot [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 15];8:192. Available from: http://www.jehp.net/text.asp?2019/8/1/192/269784

  Introduction Top

HIV/AIDS is a major public health problem worldwide. The number of affected people was estimated as 36.7 million in 2014.[1] In a recent study, it was shown that the estimated number of HIV-infected people were 89,000 in 2009 with a projected increase to 106,000 in 2014.[2] One of the factors that help to control, treat, and suppress the HIV virus is consumption of and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence.[3] The rate of nonadherence to the ART in rural areas of Zambia was 40%[4] and North America was 45%.[5] The ART should be ≥95% in order to prevent drug resistance, transmit of HIV virus to noninfected sexual partners, progress of the disease to the AIDS stage, and achieve the 90-90-90 target.[6] The 90-90-90 target indicates that 90% of the patients should be diagnosed, 90% treated, and 90% should achieve the viral suppression, but in Iran, the ART adherence is 75.4%.[7]

Certainly, the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs should be used perpetually until the end of life; in the case that the medications discontinue, the number of HIV viruses in the patient's body increases rapidly.[8] The long-term use of medications and their complications lead to drug intolerance and depression among patients. On the other hand, poor adherence to the ART was associated with depression.[8] Studies conducted in countries with high and low income showed a strong association between AIDS and depression, so that depression was significantly associated with harmful effects of AIDS, low quality of life, low immune system, higher viral load, unemployment, and low labor productivity.[9] It is predicted that depression will be one of the three main causes of disease throughout the world along with AIDS and ischemic heart diseases by 2030.[10] Depression treatment can promote the patients' motivation and self-efficacy.[11] The prevalence of depression among HIV-positive patients was 50% in San Francisco.[12] The prevalence of moderate-to-severe depression among people living with HIV (PLHIV) was 68% in Iran.[13]

The Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills (IMB) model is one of the models widely considered in the area of ART adherence in health psychology.[14] In this model, information is considered as the prerequisite of personal and social motivation, while risk perception is a motivational prerequisite for learning skills.[15] The results of a study by Alexander et al. showed that behavioral skills were significantly affected by the mediating effects of information and motivation in treatment adherence.[14] Despite the studies conducted over the ART and use of IMB model in other countries,[16] no information is available on the ART adherence of the Iranian HIV-positive patients using the IMB model. Therefore, this study was conducted to answer two main research questions:

  1. Is ART adherence based on the IMB model an appropriate strategy to achieve the 909,090 target?
  2. Does ART adherence lead to depression?

  Materials and Methods Top

Study design and setting

This descriptive–correlational study was conducted on PLHIV, who were 18 years and older and referred to the Behavioral Disease Counseling Center in Kerman city in 2017.

Participants and sampling

To collect the participants, the researchers referred to the Behavioral Disease Counseling Center and selected 119 patients randomly using the table of random numbers. The number of people receiving free ART was 188 at the time of data collection. The sample size was calculated as 119 people using the proportions formula with a significance level of 95%, d = 0. 09, and the adherence level of 0.50. The inclusion criteria consisted of having 18 years of age and older, taking drugs for 6 months, and having the willingness to participate in the study.


In this research, three questionnaires were applied to collect the data.

The first questionnaire was the demographic and clinical data of the patients including: age, sex, marital status, educational level, occupation, income level, number of children, housing, disease transmission forms, CD4 count, stage of disease, viral load, risk factors, history of disease, and body mass index.

Questionnaire of antiretroviral therapy adherence based on Information, Motivation, and Behavioral skills model

The questionnaire of ART adherence based on IMB model was developed by the researcher after conducting a qualitative research and investigating the manuscripts and scientific papers on the ART adherence. This questionnaire dealt with six constructs of the IMB model using a five-point Likert scale as information, personal motivation, social motivation, risk perception, self-efficacy, and behavioral questions. That the options ranging from “totally agree” (five scores) to “totally disagree” (zero). In the part of self-efficacy and behavior, the options included always (5 scores) and never (1 score). Some items in the sections of information (questions 5 and 6), personal motivation (questions 6–9), social motivation (questions 3–7), and behavior (question 6) were scored reversely. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by ten experts which was calculated as 70%. The Cronbach's alpha test was also used to determine the scientific reliability of the data collection tool. The reliability of the questionnaire with regard to the construct of information was 82%, personal motivation 83%, social motivation 83%, risk perception 88%, self-efficacy 83%, and behavior was 83% [Appendix 1].

Beck depression inventory II test

The Beck depression inventory-II (BDI-II) is widely used to diagnose depression and measure its severity. Kanmogne et al. investigate the validity and reliability of the French version of this questionnaire in Cameroon.[17] The BDI-II consists of 21 items to evaluate the emotional factors of depression, such as hopelessness, irritability, guilty feelings, pessimism, worthlessness, self-efficacy, and suicidal thoughts, as well as the physical factors such as loss of appetite, fatigue, as well as sleep and concentration problems. The options were scored from zero to three and the total score was calculated to determine the severity of depression: normal (0–13), mild (14–19), moderate (20–28), and severe (29–63).[17]

Ethical consideration

The Ethics Committee of Yazd University of Medical Sciences confirmed this study (IR.SSU.SPH.REC 1396.83). Subsequently, the participants were provided with comprehensive explanations about aim of the study, they were asked to sign the consent forms to participate in the research, and they were ensured about the confidentiality of information. In case that some people quit, we used the table of random numbers and selected participates to reach the determined sample size. To ensure the accuracy of participants in completing the questionnaires, the US $3 was paid to each participant after completing the questionnaire.

Statistical analysis

In this research, descriptive statistics was used to analyze the demographic characteristics, ART adherence, and depression of the study population. In addition, we used the Spearman's correlation test to analyze the association of the IMB model constructs with the total adherence, depression, and other demographic variables. The data were analyzed using SPSS 24. International Business Machines Corporation, New York, USA. The significance level was set at 0.05.

  Results Top

A total number of 119 PLHIV with an average age of 41.59 ± 9.57 years participated in the study. The results showed that 54.6% of the participants were male [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of the study participants

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The rate of CD4 was higher than 350 in 58% of cases. In addition, 93.3% of the samples were infected with HIV. The viral load was <100 in 63.9% of cases and 42% of participants did not mention any risk factors such as using drugs [Table 2].
Table 2: Clinical information of the participants

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A significant association was observed between the total adherence and all constructs of the IMB model (P < 0.001). Of the constructs of the model, the risk perception and self-efficacy had the highest mean scores in ART adherence [Table 3].
Table 3: Mean and standard deviation of Information, Motivation, and Behavioral skills model constructs and their relationship with antiretroviral therapy adherence

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The prevalence of depression was 71.5% among patients; 29.4% of these participants had severe depression and the others had moderate-to-low depression. Furthermore, 28.6% of participants had no depression [Table 4].
Table 4: Severity of depression in PWHIV

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According to Spearman's correlation coefficient, except for the constructs of information (P = 0.000), personal motivation (P = 0.04), and total adherence (P = 0.006), no significant relationship was observed between depression and ART adherence in other constructs. The results showed that gender had a significant correlation with information (P = 0.001) and total adherence (P = 0.008). In addition, marital status had a significant association with information (P = 0.01), personal motivation (P = 0.03), and total adherence (P = 0.02). Spearman's correlation showed a significant association between income and behavior (P = 0.03) [Table 5].
Table 5: The correlation matrix between depression and demographic data regarding the Information, Motivation, and Behavioral skills model (Spearman's correlation test)

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  Discussion Top

Considering the strong association of the IMB model constructs with total adherence and the significant effect of ART adherence on the reduction of depression, application of IMB model was appropriate for ART adherence. Risk perception and self-efficacy had the highest mean scores with regard to ART adherence among the constructs of the model. In confirmation of the second hypothesis, it should be noted that depression decreased with ART adherence, so that information and personal motivation were the predictors of depression reduction among PLHIV. The married and female patients had better medication adherence in comparison with other groups.

The results of the current study showed that risk perception was a strong predictor of ART adherence among PLHIV. In the same line with our research, the results of the study by Zhang showed that risk perception was one of the most important elements of the target behavior.[18] However, in other studies, the risk perception was low with regard to the medications.[8] However, the patients of the present study had a high-risk perception, which was due to the follow-ups and care services rendered by nurses and physicians as well as the beneficial effects of medications.

The results of our study indicated that the patients' self-efficacy was high in ART adherence, which was in the same line with other study.[8] However, the results of the study carried out by Barclay and Alexander et al. showed that self-efficacy was low among HIV-positive adults. Furthermore, they observed no significant association between self-efficacy and treatment adherence among the participants.[14],[19] This discrepancy in the findings can be attributed to the variety in participants' age and geographic region, so that the elderlies did not have enough trust in ART adherence.

In our study, all constructs of the IMB model were associated with the total ART adherence. Similar results were observed in other study.[20] However, the results of the study carried out by Chang were different with the results of the current study.[21] In the previous studies, the participants were selected from wide varieties of geographic region, and the sample size was large, which caused the difference in the results. Information and personal motivation, among other constructs of model, had the highest mean scores in ART adherence. In confirmation of our results, Norton et al. showed that high motivation affected the ART adherence.[22] Meanwhile, the results of the study by Starks et al. contradicted our results regarding three groups of PLHIV, which was due to the difference in mental health.[16] However, in the current study, the support from nurses and physicians of the Behavioral Disease Counseling Center increased the ART adherence among patients.

Furthermore, in the current study, information and personal motivation were considered as two important predictors of depression reduction, which was similar to a previous study.[23] However, Egede reported that only “social motivation” was the most important construct in reducing depression.[24] This discrepancy can be related to the difference in the applied data collection tools and the studied group, who were the people with diabetes in Egede research. Similar to the findings of Coleman, we found that the prevalence of moderate-to-severe depression was more than the average.[25] However, the results of other studies were not in the same line with our results.[17],[26] In our study as well as the study by Georgette,[16] participants included both genders and the BDI-II was applied as the research tool. Hence, the difference in the findings can be related to the large sample size in Georgette study, which was two times more than the sample size in our study. In the current study, females had a greater ART adherence than males, which was similar to other study.[27] However, Kim et al. (2018). did not confirm this finding.[28] This difference can be because many female participants were widowed and lived with their parents or other family members, so they were supported to a higher degree.[29] The results of this study showed that ART adherence was higher among the married individuals who were in the same line with the study by Oskouie et al.[30] However, this finding was different from the results reported by Mukui et al.[31] The study by Oskouie et al. showed that married females with HIV who were supported by their spouses had higher ART adherence.[30]

The strength of the study was to extract the questionnaire from the qualitative design that was done by face-to-face interviews. However, this study is limited by being conducted at one site, and the data were collected in a self-reporting mode.

Recommendations for practice and research

We suggest other researchers and health-care providers to use the IMB model in their interventional studies. Policy-makers are also recommended to consider the patients' mental health, social support, and financial support along with their ART adherence. However, given the high prevalence of depression in HIV patients, it is better to choose a smaller sample size.

  Conclusions Top

The results of this study showed that IMB model was an appropriate, practical, and economic strategy with regard to the ART adherence among PLHIV, who are prone to depression and drug consumption. Furthermore, depression decreased by continuous ART adherence. So with the IMB model, we can reach the 90-90-90 target earlier.


We would like to acknowledge authorities of the Jiroft University of Medical Sciences in the Southern Iran.

Financial support and sponsorship

The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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