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Background: Adherence to antiretroviral therapy is a key factor in the successful treatment of people living with HIV infection. Use of reminder system has been shown to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy. This study was conducted to identify the reminder systems used by the HIV-infected adolescents in our health facility and determine the relationships with adherence using self-report and pill count.
Study Design: This was a cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was done at Paediatric Special Treatment Clinic of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. The data collection was over a six month period, September 2015 to February, 2016.
Methodology: This was a face-to-face interviewer administered pretested questionnaire-based study. Adherence was measured using three-day recall self report and pill count, with convenience sampling method employed.
Results: One-hundred and forty-five adolescents aged 10 years to 19 years participated in the study, 80(55.2%) were males, 78(53.8%)%) were between the ages of 10-13 years, 111(76.6%) were Christians, 91(62.7%) had secondary level of education, and 61(42.1%) were from the middle socio-economic class. The most common reminder systems used were the alarm devices 43(29.7%), timers 34(23.4%) and parents 39(26.9%). Twenty-two (15.2%) participants did not use any form of reminders for their self-care. Use of reminder systems had a statistically significant relationship with gender (P= .031), social class (P = .003) and self-report (P = <0.001).
Conclusion: The alarm system was mostly used by adolescents for their medication adherence and was associated with gender, social class and self-reporting. It is hoped that interventional studies will be carried out on the use of types of electronic reminder devices to ARV medications with the aim of its integration into the routine care of HIV-infected adolescents in Nigeria.