Introduction: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a stressful disease,and depression is frequently experienced by HIV-infected individuals. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether a holistic intervention could improve coping self-efficacy strategies and have a positive impact on the mental health of HIV-infected individuals 12 months posterior to the intervention.
Method: From January 2010–January 2011, a total of 30 HIV-infected individuals at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark were included in the study. The intervention was a group intervention and was facilitated by an educated coach. It was organized as a three day residential course as well as 6 single day follows up events spread out over 6 months.
The main outcome measures were coping self-efficacy (self-efficacy as defined as the belief in one’s ability to perform a specific behavior) and depression. The intervention was evaluated 12 months after the end of the intervention.
Results: Twenty individuals completed the intervention. Coping self-efficacy and psychological health improved overall, and there was a significant decrease in depression (p=0·0017). The qualitative interview results supported the questionnaire results,displaying changes in bodily sensation, in awareness, in understanding and insight, in behaviour and in actions as well as the development of new competences. The individuals felt more in balance (e.g. emotional stability), and this feeling of being more competent in terms of managing the disease was maintained at the 12-month follow-up.
Conclusion: These results will be useful for developing effective interventions that help individuals manage the acute and chronic stress of living with HIV and increase coping self-efficacy, thereby preventing depression. These results merit further investigation in a randomized controlled trial.
Published on: Aug 18, 2014 Pages: 11-18
Former member of MGH, USA
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