• Article

Correlates of adherence to varenicline among HIV plus smokers

Introduction: Low rates of adherence to smoking cessation pharmacotherapy may limit the effectiveness of treatment. However, few studies have examined adherence in smoking cessation trials thus, there is a limited understanding of factors that influence adherence behaviors. This brief report analyzes correlates of adherence to varenicline among people living with HIV/AIDS.

Methods: Study participants were recruited from three HIV care centers in New York City and enrolled in a three-arm randomized controlled pilot study in which all subjects received varenicline. At the 1-month study visit, there were no significant differences in adherence by study condition, therefore we combined treatment arms to examine correlates of adherence (n = 127). We used pill counts to assess varenicline adherence, defined as taking at least 80% of the prescribed dose. We conducted a multivariate path analysis to assess factors proposed by the information-motivation-behavioral skills model to predict adherence.

Results: Only 56% of smokers were at least 80% adherent to varenicline at 1 month. Adherence-related information, self-efficacy, a college degree, and non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity were associated with increased varenicline adherence. In path analysis, information and motivation were associated with increased adherence self-efficacy, and adherence self-efficacy was associated with increased adherence, but with marginal significance. These associations with adherence were no longer significant after controlling for race/ethnicity and education.

Conclusions: Further exploration of the role of a modifiable correlates of adherence, such as adherence-related information, motivation and self-efficacy is warranted. Interventions are needed that can address disparities in these and other psychosocial factors that may mediate poor medication adherence.


Shelley, D., Tseng, T-Y., Gonzalez, M., Krebs, P., Wong, S., Furberg, R., ... Cleland, C. M. (2015). Correlates of adherence to varenicline among HIV plus smokers. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 17(8), 968-974. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntv068

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