CBT for Medication Adherence and Depression (CBT-AD) in HIV-Infected Patients Receiving Methadone Maintenance Therapy

Nafisseh Soroudi, Giselle K. Perez, Jeffrey S. Gonzalez, Joseph A. Greer, Mark H. Pollack, Michael W. Otto, Steven A. Safren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


For individuals with HIV who are current or former injection drug users, depression is a common, distressing condition that can interfere with a critical self-care behavior-adherence to antiretroviral therapy. The present study describes the feasibility and outcome, in a case series approach, of cognitive behavioral therapy to improve adherence and depression (CBT-AD) among individuals with HIV and depression undergoing methadone maintenance treatment for heroin dependence. CBT-AD integrates cognitive behavioral therapy for depression with our intervention for improving adherence to antiretroviral therapy for HIV (Life-Steps; [Safren, S. A., Otto, M. W., Worth, J., Salomon, E., Johnson, W., Mayer, K., et al. (2001). Two strategies to increase adherence to HIV antiretroviral medication: Life-Steps and medication monitoring. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 39, 1151-1162]). Specifically, in CBT-AD, patients first receive a cognitive behavioral intervention focusing on improving skills related to medication adherence. Each of the subsequent CBT modules (activity scheduling, cognitive restructuring, problem-solving training, and relaxation training/diaphragmatic breathing) is designed to address both self-care/adherence behaviors as well as depression. The process and outcome with 4 cases suggest that the treatment was feasible and acceptable and was generally associated with improvements. This case series provides an example of how cognitive behavioral therapists can integrate the treatment of depression with the enhancement of critical self-care behaviors in the context of highly complex, medical and psychiatric comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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