Elaine Marieb College of Nursing Faculty Publication Series

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

International Quarterly of Community Health Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the association between perceived family support, either positive or negative, and adherence to antiretroviral medication regimens among HIV-positive individuals in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. We measured past 3-month antiretroviral adherence among 233 HIV-positive individuals, in relation to perceived family support, both positive (in terms of emotional and instrumental support) and negative (in the form of negative interactions), using the 10-item Nepali Family Support and Difficulty Scale. Medium and high levels of perceived emotional support from family were associated with reduced risk of antiretroviral nonadherence, compared with low levels of perceived emotional support (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] ¼ 0.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.16, 0.88], and AOR ¼ 0.23, 95% CI [0.08, 0.64], respectively). Conversely, higher levels of felt emotional distance (AOR ¼ 1.46, 95% CI [1.00, 2.14]) and experienced physical harm (AOR ¼ 2.04, 95% CI [1.07, 3.91]) were associated with increased risk of nonadherence. The results support the recommendation that service providers need to be aware of the significant role of family support in shaping antiretroviral adherence and to consider ways to strengthen positive family support while minimizing negative family interactions to increase adherence rates.