A cross-sectional description of social capital in an international sample of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH)

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.26). 03/2012; 12(1):188. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-188
Source: PubMed


Social capital refers to the resources linked to having a strong social network. This concept plays into health outcomes among People Living with HIV/AIDS because, globally, this is a highly marginalized population. Case studies show that modifying social capital can lead to improvements in HIV transmission and management; however, there remains a lack of description or definition of social capital in international settings. The purpose of our paper was to describe the degree of social capital in an international sample of adults living with HIV/AIDS.
We recruited PLWH at 16 sites from five countries including Canada, China, Namibia, Thailand, and the United States. Participants (n = 1,963) completed a cross-sectional survey and data were collected between August, 2009 and December, 2010. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and correlational analysis.
Participant's mean age was 45.2 years, most (69%) identified as male, African American/Black (39.9%), and unemployed (69.5%). Total mean social capital was 2.68 points, a higher than average total social capital score. Moderate correlations were observed between self-reported physical (r = 0.25) and psychological condition (r = 0.36), social support (r = 0.31), and total social capital. No relationships between mental health factors, including substance use, and social capital were detected.
This is the first report to describe levels of total social capital in an international sample of PLWH and to describe its relationship to self-reported health in this population.

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    • "The parent study was also approved at sites in China, Namibia, and Thailand by the Shanghai Public Health Clinic Center Institution Review Board; Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia; Ethics Committee of the University of Namibia; and The Ethical Committee of Lerdsin Hospital, Governmental Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand. The demographic characteristics and methods of this study have been previously published [37,58,61]. Selected demographic, survey, and environmental contextual data relevant to the aims of this study are presented. "
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    • "This study population fit the characteristic profile of high psychological and physical distress,(40) poor sleep,(66,67) moderate-high HIV adherence self-efficacy,(41) and moderate self-compassion(41) common among PLWH. The results of this pilot study suggest that MABT decreases depression and improves quality of sleep. "
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    • "People were excluded from the study if there was evidence of cognitive impairment, active psychosis, or significant confusion. Data were collected between September 2009 and January 2011 by self-administered questionnaires , with support provided by assistants as needed; computer assisted self-interview (China); or one-to-one interview (Bangkok, Newark, Namibia, and Wilmington) (Webel et al., 2012). "
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