Emotional support and gender in people living with HIV: Effects on psychological well-being

Department of Psychology, University Complutense of Madrid, 28223 Madrid, Spain.
Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.1). 07/2009; 32(6):523-31. DOI: 10.1007/s10865-009-9222-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Current research indicates that emotional support is strongly associated with physical and psychological adjustment in persons living with HIV/AIDS. While gender- differences in health and health behaviors of HIV positive patients are well studied, less is known about how men and women living with HIV/AIDS may differentially perceive and integrate support into their lives, and how it subsequently affects their psychological well-being. This cross-sectional study examines how emotional support received from partners and family/friends and gender explains psychological well-being (i.e., stress, depression, anxiety) in a sample of 409 partnered European HIV positive individuals. We hypothesized that gender would modify the associations between support and psychological well-being such that men would benefit more from partner support whereas women would benefit more from family/friend support. Results revealed that regardless of the source of support, men's well-being was more positively influenced by support than was women's well-being. Women's difficulties in receiving emotional support may have deleterious effects on their psychological well-being.

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Available from: Victoria Gordillo, Aug 25, 2015
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    • "Likewise, stigmatization of PLHIV, which may impair opportunity for housing, employment, income, quality of social relationships, and health-care treatment (Hatzenbuehler, Phelan, & Link, 2013) may have a direct role in the depressive symptoms and decreased QoL observed here. Among PLHIV, women experience more stigma (Murphy , Austin, & Greenwell, 2006; Steward et al., 2008; Subramanian, Gupte, Dorairaj, Periannan, & Mathai, 2009), have lower emotional support (Gordillo et al., 2009; Zierler et al., 2000), poorer QoL (Mahalakshmy, Premarajan, & Hamide, 2011; Reis, Santos, & Gir, 2012), and CART adherence (Hanif et al., 2013) and lower incomes and employment leading to greater socioeconomic burden (Charles et al., 2012), possibly contributing to their greater depression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Depression is the most common psychiatric co-morbidity among people living with HIV (PLHIV), with prevalence rates ranging from 25% to 36%. Depression impacts negatively upon adherence and response to combined antiretroviral therapy (CART) and the transmission of HIV infection through increased sexually risky behavior. This cross-sectional study presents data from a reference HIV-outpatient service in Dourados (Brazil) that evaluated the association between depressive symptoms, health-related quality of life, and clinical, socioeconomic, and demographic factors in newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS patients. Using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the prevalence of depressive symptoms was 61% with a predominance of self-deprecating and cognitive-affective factors. Depressive symptoms were associated with lower income (p = 0.019) and disadvantaged social class (p = 0.005). Poorer quality of life was related to depressive symptoms (p < 0.0001), low educational level (p = 0.05), and lower income (p = 0.03). These data suggest that socioeconomic factors, including level of income and education, are mediating the risk of depression and poor quality of life of PLHIV. Possible explanations for this effect are discussed, including the possible role of stigma.
    AIDS Care 03/2015; 27(8):1-7. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2015.1017442 · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    • "Generally speaking, gender is a factor in the exposure, experience, and coping of stress (Davis, Burleson, & Kruszewski, 2009; Zwicker & DeLongis, 2010). For example, women are more vulnerable than men to be depressed (Boyd & Weissman, 1981; Baum & Grunberg, 1991; Wisniewski et al., 2005; Remien et al., 2006; Valverde et al., 2007; Gordillo et al., 2009; Pereira & Canavarro, 2011). Women are at a disadvantage in terms of being more prone to life stressors impacting their quality of life. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although the impact of HIV falls on both partners of a married couple, the burden of stress may not be necessarily shared evenly. The researchers in this study examined the relations among HIV status, gender, and depressive symptoms among 152 married or cohabitating couples living with HIV in the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand. Depressive symptoms were assessed using a 15-item depressive symptom screening test that was developed and used previously in Thailand. Among the 152 couples, 59% were couples in which both members were people living with HIV (seroconcordant; both people living with HIV couples), 28% had only female members with HIV (serodiscordant; females living with HIV couples), and 13% had only male members with HIV (serodiscordant; males living with HIV couples). The prevalence of depressive symptoms between seroconcordant and serodiscordant groups was similar. However, females living with HIV reported significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms, regardless of their partners' HIV status. Future prevention programs focusing on serodiscordant couples should be planned to target HIV risk, as well as emphasis on mental health, with a particular focus on women's increased susceptibility to negative mental health outcomes.
    Women & Health 07/2012; 52(5):472-84. DOI:10.1080/03630242.2012.687442 · 1.05 Impact Factor
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    • "Quality of life and related factors among people living with HIV in China Ó 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd 517 their partners and families (Gordillo et al. 2009). Third, women were considered to have had more anxiety moods than men, and also were more frequently to use negative coping strategies (Wu et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: xiaoyan x & sato mk (2011) Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness 3, 513–520 Quality of life and related factors among people living with HIV in ChinaAim. Aim of the study is to assess quality of life and its influencing factors among people living with HIV.Background. The Ministry of Health of People’s Republic of China (Joint united nations programme on HIV/AIDS world health organization, 2006) reported that 650 000 people were estimated to be living with HIV in China and among them 75 000 people were living with AIDS, and five provinces, Henan, Hubei, Anhui, Hebei, and Shanxi accounted for 80·4% of infected individuals within this population. Maximising quality of life in people living with HIV/AIDS has become an important objective of care, and understanding the factors that impact quality of life would help achieve this objective.Methods. A cross-sectional study based on a convenient sample was used. The sample consisted of 94 HIV-positive people in Hubei province, age range 21–67 years (M = 42·68, SD = 8·88). Quality of life was measured using the WHOQOL HIV-BREF which was developed by WHO group. Date were collected between December 2008–June 2009.Results. People living with HIV had best quality of life in level of dependence domain (13·44) and poorest quality of life in social relationships domain (11·75). They were most satisfactory with family social support (22·37), followed by perceived social support from significant others (18·69) and least satisfactory with social support from friends (12·19). Quality of life was statistically related to gender, CD4 counts and perceived social support. Women had lower quality of life scores in the psychological (p = 0·028) and spiritual (p = 0·009) domain than men. Patients with CD4 counts <200 cells/mm3 had poorer quality of life in physical (p = 0·023) and level of independence domain (p = 0·039) compared to those with CD4 counts >500 cells/mm3. Perceived social support from family (r = 0·28, p < 0·01), from friends (r = 0·36, p < 0·001) and from significant others (r = 0·28, p < 0·01) was positively associated with quality of life.Implications for clinical practice. Perceived social support was significantly related to quality of life in our study, and this suggests that strengthening social support of HIV-positive people is necessary. As their major support was from family members, a family-focused intervention may be useful, for example, to educate family members to improve their HIV-related knowledge and informational support.Conclusion. This study suggests that the health workers should pay more attention to women living with HIV. Strengthening social support of HIV-positive people is also necessary.
    Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness 12/2011; 3(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1752-9824.2011.01127.x
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