Article

HIV risk reduction for the seriously mentally ill: Pilot investigation and call for research

Syracuse University, Syracuse, U.S.A.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.23). 06/1997; DOI: 10.1016/S0005-7916(97)00002-5

ABSTRACT Research indicates that people with serious mental illnesses (SMI; e.g., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder) are at enhanced risk for infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). To decrease this risk, we piloted a six-session HIV-risk reduction intervention for two single-gender groups (nine women, eight men; M age = 39.8 years) of SMI outpatients. The intervention and assessment were based on the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model of HIV-preventive behavior (Fisher & Fisher, 1992. Psychological Bulletin., 455–474) and employed activities designed specifically for people with a SMI. Data were collected at pre- and post-intervention, and at a one-month follow-up. Results indicated that this brief intervention resulted in enhanced HIV-related knowledge, and trends toward enhanced skill at condom use negotiation and condom use self-efficacy. Overall, a modest decrease in risk behavior among participants was observed. Thus, this pilot investigation revealed that HIV-related risk of the SMI can be reduced through traditional behavioral skills and education methods. Future research employing control groups, more intensive interventions, and baseline screening for high risk is encouraged.

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