Background. With the increase in scaling up of antiretroviral therapy (ART), knowledge of the need for adherence to ART is pivotal for successful treatment outcomes.
Design and Methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out between October and December 2013. We administered theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and adherence questionnaires to 358 women aged 18-49 years, from a rural and urban ART-clinics in southern Malawi. Hierarchical linear regression models were used to predict intentions to adhere to ART. Results. Regression models showed that attitude (β=0.47), subjective norm (β=0.31), and perceived behavioral control (β=0.12) explain 55% of the variance in intentions to adhere to ART. The relationship between both food insecurity and perceived side effects with intentions to adhere to ART is mediated by attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control. Household (r=0.20) and individual (r=0.21) food insecurity were positively and significantly correlated with perceived behavioural control. Household food insecurity had a negative correlation with perceived side effects (r=-0.11). Perceived side effects were positively correlated with attitude (r=0.25). There was no statistically significant relationship between intentions to adhere to ART in the future and one month self-report of past month adherence. These interactions suggest that attitude predicted adherence only when food insecurity is high or perception of side effects is strong.
Conclusions. This study shows that modification might be needed when using TPB constructs in resource constraint environments