This study emanates from the need to understand the socio-economic factors that might have contributed to the patients dropping out of the MASA antiretroviral therapy programme in Botswana. The aim of the study was to explore the socio-economic factors that are involved in compliance to antiretroviral therapy. It is crucial to know what these factors are and the strategies that can be deployed to address them. This will assist in the achievement of the programme goals. The type of research that was used is applied research. One of the primary rationales of applied research is that the study may have some practical use. The purpose of applied research is to contribute knowledge that will help people understand the nature of the problem in order to intervene, and this was the main motivation for this study. Since the MASA programme was launched, there were some patients who were ‘lost to follow-up’. As a result, there was a need to understand the reasons behind this phenomenon, so that the patients who are enrolled on the programme are retained. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of how the socio-economic factors affect compliance with antiretroviral therapy, phenomenology was used as a research strategy. Using the phenomenological strategy helps in understanding the nature or meaning of the respondents’ everyday experiences and to transform experiences into consciousness. The sampling method that was used is probability sampling, utilising availability sampling. The population for this study was HIV positive adults who had dropped out of the MASA Programme at Princess Marina Hospital, IDCC clinic in Botswana. The data collection instrument that was used was the interview schedule. From the conclusions, it is apparent that the socio-economic factors are crucial and should therefore be given more attention if better compliance is to be realised. In the same breath, patients require counselling that will focus, not only on the medical aspects of HIV/AIDS but also on the socio-economic factors. As shown in this study it is predominantly the socio-economic factors that led to patients dropping out of the programme. Social workers can play a critical role in this regard as they are equipped with counselling skills. Lastly, the conclusions and recommendation arising from this study are provided.
Dissertation (MA (Social Health Care))--University of Pretoria, 2007.