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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

MarieGuerda Nicolas

Second Committee Member

Laura Kohn Wood

Third Committee Member

Etiony Aldarondo

Fourth Committee Member

Daniel J. Feaster


Despite increases in HIV awareness, prevention and treatment, little is known about the contributing factors to medication adherence among adherent Black women with HIV. Understanding the protective factors that improve medication adherence and CD4 cell count for Black HIV+ women is essential and necessary to improve the treatment outcomes for this understudied population. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between spirituality, social support, trust in physician, and medication adherence among HIV+ Black women. While this study was not designed to test the influence on medication adherence, it was hypothesized that increased levels of spirituality, social support and trust in physician would positively relate to adherence. In this study, medication adherence was measured by 1) self-report on The AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) Adherence Questionnaire and 2) CD4 T-cell count. Baseline data was collected from 82 Black women in the Miami-Dade community and participants were administered the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWB), the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ), and the Trust in Physician Scale (TPS). The results of this study indicate that medication adherence is not related to spiritual well-being, social support, or trust in physician. However, a significant positive correlation between spiritual well-being and trust in physician was found. Findings suggest that additional research is needed to explore the multifarious nature of the factors that enhance medication adherence for this population. Implications for research and practice are discussed with respect to the inclusion of spirituality, social support and trust in physician components within prevention and intervention programs designed to increase adherent behaviors among Black HIV+ women.


Patient-provider Factors; Health Behaviors; Gender-focused Interventions; African-American Women; Black Community; Health Desparities; HIV Prevelance; HIV Intervention; Health Psychology; HIV Prevention