Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods: comparing HIV-related risk behaviors among Puerto Rican drug users in Puerto Rico and New York.
ABSTRACT A dual site project was conducted to assess determinants of injection and sex-related risk behaviors among Puerto Rican drug users. The project focused on injection drug users and crack smokers, and was conducted in East Harlem, NY and Bayamón, PR in 1996-2000. Qualitative methods included ethnographic mapping, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and observations. A survey component (East Harlem, n = 800; Bayamón, n = 400) was also conducted. Procedures to ensure integration of methodologies and comparability of data were developed. This paper describes the qualitative and survey methods used, and presents the comparative HIV risk behaviors. The integration of the two methodologies served multiple functions: each component identified issues to be addressed in the other, enhanced cross-site comparability of data, and assisted in interpretation of findings. The survey data showed high levels of risk behaviors in both communities, with significantly higher levels of risk reported in Bayamón. Conducting studies of similar ethnic groups in different communities provides opportunities to examine diverse sources of influence on risk behaviors. The integration of qualitative and quantitative methods can enhance comparability and understanding of findings, particularly when there are differences in behaviors between communities.
- SourceAvailable from: Homie A Razavi[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present investigation is to provide an analysis of previous works on the epidemiology of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection from six countries throughout Latin America, to forecast the future HCV prevalence trends in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and to outline deficiencies in available data, highlighting the need for further research. Data references were identified through indexed journals and non-indexed sources. Overall, 1080 articles were reviewed and 150 were selected based on their relevance to this work. When multiple data sources were available for a key assumption, a systematic process using multi-objective decision analysis (MODA) was used to select the most appropriate sources. When data were missing, analogues were used. Data from other countries with similar risk factors and/or population compositions were used as a proxy to help predict the future trends in prevalence. The review indicates that the dominant genotype is type 1. HCV prevalence in the analysed countries ranges from 1 to 2.3%. The Latin American countries have been very proactive in screening their blood supplies, thus minimizing the risk of transmission through transfusion. This suggests that other risk factors are set to play a major role in continued new infections. The number of diagnosed and treated patients is low, thereby increasing the burden of complications such as liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. The HCV prevalence, according to our modelling is steady or increasing and the number of infected individuals will increase. The results herein reported should provide a foundation for informed planning efforts to tackle hepatitis.Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 07/2011; 31 Suppl 2:18-29. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the prevalence of depression is similar in pregnant, postpartum and non-pregnant women, the onset of new depression is higher during the perinatal period. Women of low-income, and those living in low and middle income countries, are known to be at particularly high risk. Early identification and treatment of antenatal depression may improve pregnancy outcomes and could serve as an early indicator of postnatal depression. Culturally sensitive and accurate diagnostic tools are urgently needed. A consecutive series of 109 pregnant women were recruited in the third trimester at a primary health clinic, in a rural part of South Africa, with a high HIV prevalence. A cross sectional assessment of depression was completed using a structured clinical interview method and DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Qualitative data on women's descriptions of depressive symptoms was also collected. The aim was to examine the prevalence of depression and to better understand the presentation of depressive symptomatology in this population. Prevalence of depression was high, 51/109 (47%), with over half of the depressed women 34/51(67%) reporting episode duration greater than two months. 8/51 reported a prior history of depression. Women used psychological language to describe symptoms and, as a result, standardised diagnostic tools were culturally sensitive. Somatic pregnancy symptoms were frequently reported, but did not overestimate depression. Both HIV positive (27/51) and HIV negative (24/51) women were at risk of being depressed. The study is limited by the small sample size and possible attrition biases. Antenatal depression is high and clinical presentation is similar to high income countries. Standardised diagnostic tools are culturally sensitive and adequate for early detection.Journal of affective disorders 08/2011; 135(1-3):362-73. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many barriers to the use of HIV medications have been identified. Research findings have also shown a gender disparity in HIV care behaviors. However, interaction effects of gender with the potential barriers to use of HIV medications among HIV-positive minority drug users remain under-studied. This study examined interaction effects of gender with potential moderating factors (i.e., individual and network characteristics) on the use of HIV medications. Analyses were based on 260 HIV-positive Puerto Rican heroin and cocaine users, recruited in New York (N=178) and Puerto Rico (N=82) in 1998-2003. HIV status was assessed using OraSure, and heroin or cocaine use was verified by urinalysis. All participants were tested and interviewed at baseline and six-month follow-up (183 males; 77 females). In predicting use of HIV medications at follow-up (HIVMEDF), use of HIV medications at baseline (HIVMED), individual characteristics (e.g., depression), network characteristics (e.g., having an intravenous drug user [IDU] sex partner), recruitment site, and interaction effects of these variables with gender, were examined in multiple logistic regression analysis. Use of HIV medications was low (29% at baseline; 40% at follow-up). HIVMED, recruitment site, gender, and depression had significant main effects on HIVMEDF. Depression also had a significant interaction effect with gender on HIVMEDF. Unlike men, women with depression were less likely than women without depression to use the medications. The findings indicate that gender-specific issues should be addressed by treatment programs for HIV-positive drug users, with particular efforts needed to enhance use of medications for depressed women.AIDS Care 11/2011; 23(11):1467-71. · 1.60 Impact Factor