The impact of social context on self-management in women living with HIV

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA. Electronic address: .
Social Science [?] Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.89). 06/2013; 87:147-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.03.037
Source: PubMed


HIV self-management is central to the health of people living with HIV and is comprised of the daily tasks individuals employ to manage their illness. Women living with HIV are confronted with social context vulnerabilities that impede their ability to conduct HIV self-management behaviors, including demanding social roles, poverty, homelessness, decreased social capital, and limited access to health care. We examined the relationship between these vulnerabilities and HIV self-management in a cross-sectional secondary analysis of 260 women living with HIV from two U.S. sites. All social context variables were assessed using validated self-report scales. HIV Self-Management was assessed using the HIV Self-Management Scale that measures daily health practices, HIV social support, and the chronic nature of HIV. Data were analyzed using appropriate descriptive statistics and multivariable regression. Mean age was 46 years and 65% of participants were African-American. Results indicated that social context variables, particularly social capital, significantly predicted all domains of HIV self-management including daily health practices (F=5.40, adjusted R2=0.27, p<0.01), HIV social support (F=4.50, adjusted R2=0.22, p<0.01), and accepting the chronic nature of HIV (F=5.57, adjusted R2=0.27, p<0.01). We found evidence to support the influence of the traditional social roles of mother and employee on the daily health practices and the chronic nature of HIV domains of HIV self-management. Our data support the idea that women's social context influences their HIV self-management behavior. While social context has been previously identified as important, our data provide new evidence on which aspects of social context might be important targets of self-management interventions for women living with HIV. Working to improve social capital and to incorporate social roles into the daily health practices of women living with HIV may improve the health of this population.

Download full-text


Available from: Allison R Webel, Mar 12, 2014
74 Reads
  • Source
    • "Self-reported individual-level social capital was measured using 31-items, from the 36-item Social Capital Scale [66-68]. This widely-used instrument measures eight subscales including: participation in the local community, social agency, feelings of trust and safety, neighborhood connections, friends and family connections, tolerance of diversity, value of life, and workplace connections; these items were used to create a total score. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human rights approaches to manage HIV and efforts to decriminalize HIV exposure/transmission globally offer hope to persons living with HIV (PLWH). However, among vulnerable populations of PLWH, substantial human rights and structural challenges (disadvantage and injustice that results from everyday practices of a well-intentioned liberal society) must be addressed. These challenges span all ecosocial context levels and in North America (Canada and the United States) can include prosecution for HIV nondisclosure and HIV exposure/transmission. Our aims were to: 1) Determine if there were associations between the social structural factor of criminalization of HIV exposure/transmission, the individual factor of perceived social capital (resources to support one's life chances and overcome life's challenges), and HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among PLWH and 2) describe the nature of associations between the social structural factor of criminalization of HIV exposure/transmission, the individual factor of perceived social capital, and HIV ART adherence among PLWH. We used ecosocial theory and social epidemiology to guide our study. HIV related criminal law data were obtained from published literature. Perceived social capital and HIV ART adherence data were collected from adult PLWH. Correlation and logistic regression were used to identify and characterize observed associations. Among a sample of adult PLWH (n = 1873), significant positive associations were observed between perceived social capital, HIV disclosure required by law, and self-reported HIV ART adherence. We observed that PLWH who have higher levels of perceived social capital and who live in areas where HIV disclosure is required by law reported better average adherence. In contrast, PLWH who live in areas where HIV transmission/exposure is a crime reported lower 30-day medication adherence. Among our North American participants, being of older age, of White or Hispanic ancestry, and having higher perceived social capital, were significant predictors of better HIV ART adherence. Treatment approaches offer clear advantages in controlling HIV and reducing HIV transmission at the population level. These advantages, however, will have limited benefit for adherence to treatments without also addressing the social and structural challenges that allow HIV to continue to spread among society's most vulnerable populations.
    BMC Public Health 08/2013; 13(1):736. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-736 · 2.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Self-managing HIV/AIDS presents challenges for anyone infected. These challenges may be further complicated for older HIV-infected African American women who acquired the disease at younger ages and now have co-morbidities. Little is known regarding how women's age identity, social responsibilities, co-morbidities, and romantic relationship status influence their HIV self-management. Five focus groups were conducted in Washington, D.C., with HIV-positive African American women aged 52-65. Topics included HIV and co-morbidity self-management, social support needs, medication adherence, and future plans for old age. A constant comparison approach was applied during data analysis. Co-morbidities, including diabetes and hypertension, were perceived to be more difficult to self-manage than HIV. This difficulty was not attributed to aging but to daily struggles such as lack of income and/or health insurance, an inflexible work schedule, and loneliness. Social responsibilities, including caring for family, positively impacted participants' ability to self-manage HIV by serving as motivation to stay healthy in order to continue to help family members. In contrast, inflexible work schedules negatively impacted women's ability to sustain medication adherence. Overall, this study demonstrates that HIV and co-morbidity self-management are inextricably linked. We can no longer afford to view engagement in HIV care as a single-disease issue and hope to attain optimal health and well-being in our HIV-affected populations. Optimal HIV self-management must be framed within a larger context that simultaneously addresses HIV and co-morbidities, while considering how social and cultural factors uniquely intersect to influence older African American women's self-management strategies.
    AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs 06/2014; 28(7). DOI:10.1089/apc.2014.0024 · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Thailand people living with HIV (PLHIV) have played a major role in shaping policy and practice. They have acted as volunteer co-providers, although their potential in terms of paediatric service provision has seldom been explored from a health systems perspective. We describe the Thai paediatric HIV care system and use both demand- and supply-side perspectives to explore the impact, opportunities and challenges of PLHIV acting as volunteer co-providers. We employed qualitative methods to assess experiences and perceptions and triangulate stakeholder perspectives. Data were collected in Khon Kaen province, in the poorest Northeastern region of Thailand: three focus group discussions and two workshops (total participants n=31) with co-providers and hospital staff; interviews with ART service-users (n=35). Nationally, key informant interviews were conducted with policy actors (n=20). Volunteer co-providers were found to be ideally placed to broker the link between clinic and communities for HIV infected children and played an important part in the vital psychosocial support component of HIV care. As co-providers they were recognized as having multiple roles linking and delivering services in clinics and communities. Clear emerging needs include strengthened coordination and training as well as strategies to support funding. Using motivated volunteers with a shared HIV status as co-providers for specific clinical services can contribute to strengthening health systems in Asia; they are critical players in delivering care (supply side) and being responsive to service-users needs (demand side). Co-providers blur the boundaries between these two spheres. Sustaining and optimising co-providers’ contribution to health systems strengthening requires a health systems approach. Our findings help to guide policy makers and service providers on how to balance clinical priorities with psycho-social responsiveness and on how best to integrate the views and experience of volunteers into a holistic model of care.
    Social Science & Medicine 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.017 · 2.89 Impact Factor
Show more