Article

The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Use, and HIV on Depressive Symptoms Among Abused Low-Income Urban Women

Journal of Interpersonal Violence (Impact Factor: 1.64). 05/2013; 28(14). DOI: 10.1177/0886260513488682
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intimate partner violence (IPV), substance use, and HIV are often co-occuring health problems affecting low-income urban women, and have been described as connected epidemics making up a "syndemic." Research suggests that each issue separately is associated with depressive symptoms, but no studies have examined the combined effect of IPV, substance use and HIV on women's depression. Interviews were conducted with 96 women recruited from community health clinics serving low-income women in an urban U.S. city. All women were over 17, not pregnant, English-speaking, without private insurance and had experienced physical IPV in the past year. Women were primarily African American (82%) and 82% were receiving income assistance. Twenty seven percent were HIV-positive, and 27% had used heroin or cocaine in the past 6 months. Based on the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D ), 73% were depressed. Women who experienced severe IPV in the past 6 months were compared to women who experienced no IPV or psychological IPV only in the past 6 months; those who experienced severe IPV were 5.3 times more likely to be depressed, controlling for HIV status, drug use, age, and relationship status. Women who experienced severe IPV, were HIV-positive, and used drugs (7.3% of sample) were 7.98 times as likely to be depressed as women without these characteristics. These findings confirm that severe IPV is significantly associated with depression among urban abused women. Furthermore, this research suggests that the syndemic effect of IPV, substance use, and HIV could be even more detrimental to women's mental health. Health practitioners and researchers should be aware of the combined impact of the IPV, substance use, and HIV syndemic and consider how they can address the mental health needs of urban women.

0 Followers
 · 
60 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concept of psychological distress includes a range of emotional states with symptoms of depression and anxiety and has yet to be reported in HIV-positive women living in Ontario, Canada, who are known to live with contributing factors. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, severity, and correlates of psychological distress among women accessing HIV care participating in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). The K10 is a 10-item, five-level response scale. K10 values range from 10 to 50 with values less than or equal to 19 categorized as not clinically significant, scores between 20 and 24 as moderate levels, 25-29 as high, and 30-50 as very high psychological distress. Correlates of psychological distress were assessed using the Pearson's chi-square test and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Moderate, high, and very high levels of psychological distress were experienced by 16.9, 10.4, and 15.1% of the 337 women in our cohort, respectively, with 57.6% reporting none. Psychological distress levels greater than 19, correlated with being unemployed (vs. employed/student/retired; AOR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.13-0.83), living in a household without their child/children (AOR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.33-4.52), CD4 counts < 200 cells/mm(3) (AOR = 2.07, 95% CI: 0.89-4.80), and to a lesser degree an education of some college or less (vs. completed college or higher; AOR=1.71, 95% CI: 0.99-2.95). Age and ethnicity, a priori variables of interest, did not correlate with psychological distress. Findings suggest that socioeconomic factors which shape the demography of women living with HIV in Ontario, low CD4 counts, and losing the opportunity to care for their child/children has a significant relationship with psychological distress. Approaches to manage psychological distress should address and make considerations for the lived experiences of women since they can act as potential barriers to improving psychological well-being.
    AIDS Care 11/2013; 26(6). DOI:10.1080/09540121.2013.855301 · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Female-initiated barrier methods for the prevention of HIV may be an effective alternative for drug-using women who are unable to negotiate safe sex, often as a result of physical and/or sexual partner violence. Methods: Utilizing a SAVA (substance abuse, violence, and AIDS) syndemic framework, we qualitatively examined perspectives on female condoms and vaginal microbicides among 18 women with histories of methamphetamine abuse and partner violence in San Diego, California. Findings: Most women were not interested in female condoms owing to perceived discomfort, difficulty of insertion, time-intensive effort, and unappealing appearance. Alternatively, most women viewed vaginal microbicides as a useful method. Positive aspects included convenience, ability to disguise as a lubricant, and a sense of control and empowerment. Concerns included possible side effects, timing of application, and unfavorable characteristics of the gel. Acceptability of female-initiated barrier methods was context dependent (i.e., partner type, level of drug use and violence that characterized the sexual relationship). Conclusions: Findings indicate that efforts are needed to address barriers identified for vaginal microbicides to increase its uptake in future HIV prevention trials and marketing of future Food and Drug Administration-approved products. Strategies should address gender-based inequalities (e. g., partner violence) experienced by drug-using women and promote female empowerment. Education on female-initiated barrier methods is also needed for women who use drugs, as well as health care providers and other professionals providing sexual health care and contraception to women with histories of drug use and partner violence. Copyright (C) 2014 by the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Women s Health Issues 05/2014; 24(4). DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2014.04.001 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Intimate partner violence (IPV), HIV/AIDS, and substance use are described as the SAVA “syndemic” among low-income urban women because of their intersecting and synergistic presence in these women's lives. Depressive symptoms are significantly associated with these SAVA factors and although social support is potentially protective for depression, little is understood about its impact on depression associated with the SAVA syndemic. Methods This paper investigates how women living with SAVA experience and describe depressive symptoms, and examines how the types of social support they access impact their experiences of SAVA and depressive symptoms. Qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with 24 HIV-positive, low-income, urban women who experienced IPV and used cocaine or heroin in their lifetime. Interviews were analyzed based on study aims, principles of thematic content analysis, and grounded theory. Results Women identified multiple SAVA factors as catalysts for depression and noted their synergistic effect on depressive symptoms, which were both a trigger for and a result of drug use. Women accessed varying sources of social support to address their SAVA factors and associated symptoms of depression, relying on informal sources for instrumental support related to IPV and formal sources for support related to HIV, drug use, and depression. Conclusions These findings have important implications for health providers who serve SAVA-affected women, and suggest that comprehensively addressing all SAVA factors (and IPV in particular) and improving their access to quality social support at critical times is essential to improve their mental health.
    Women s Health Issues 10/2014; 24(5):551–557. DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2014.05.004 · 1.61 Impact Factor