Scholastika Iipinge

University of Namibia, Windhuk, Khomas, Namibia

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Publications (13)29.73 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sexual risk behavior and illicit drug use among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) contribute to poor health and onward transmission of HIV. The aim of this collaborative multi-site nursing research study was to explore the association between self-compassion and risk behaviors in PLWHA. As part of a larger project, nurse researchers in Canada, China, Namibia, Puerto Rico, Thailand and the US enrolled 1211 sexually active PLWHA using convenience sampling. The majority of the sample was male, middle-aged, and from the US. Illicit drug use was strongly associated with sexual risk behavior, but participants with higher self-compassion were less likely to report sexual risk behavior, even in the presence of illicit drug use. Self-compassion may be a novel area for behavioral intervention development for PLWHA. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Research in Nursing & Health 02/2014; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study represents an initial effort at examining the association between the construct of self-compassion and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related anxiety in a multinational population with HIV disease. Previous studies have found that self-compassion is a powerful predictor of mental health, demonstrating positive and consistent linkages with various measures of affect, psychopathology and well-being, including anxiety. Cross-sectional data from a multinational study conducted by the members of the International Nursing Network for HIV Research (n = 1986) were used. The diverse sample included participants from Canada, China, Namibia, the United States of America and the territory of Puerto Rico. Study measures included the anxiety subscale of the Symptom Checklist-90 instrument, the Brief Version Self-Compassion Inventory and a single item on anxiety from the Revised Sign and Symptom Checklist. Study findings show that anxiety was significantly and inversely related to self-compassion across participants in all countries. We examined gender differences in self-compassion and anxiety, controlling for country. Levels of anxiety remained significantly and inversely related to self-compassion for both males (P = 0.000) and females (P = 0.000). Levels of self-compassion and anxiety varied across countries. Self-compassion is a robust construct with cross-cultural relevance. A culturally based brief treatment approach aimed at increasing self-compassion may lend itself to the development of a cost effective adjunct treatment in HIV disease, including the management of anxiety symptoms.
    International Nursing Review 12/2013; 60(4):477-486. · 0.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The engagement of patients with their health care providers (HCP) improves patients' quality of life (QOL), adherence to antiretroviral therapy, and life satisfaction. Engagement with HCP includes access to HCP as needed, information sharing, involvement of client in decision making and self-care activities, respect and support of the HCP for the client's choices, and management of client concerns. This study compares country-level differences in patients' engagement with HCP and assesses statistical associations relative to adherence rates, self-efficacy, self-esteem, QOL, and symptom self-reporting by people living with HIV (PLHIV). A convenience sample of 2,182 PLHIV was enrolled in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Namibia, and China. Cross-sectional data were collected between September 2009 and January 2011. Inclusion criteria were being at least 18 years of age, diagnosed with HIV, able to provide informed consent, and able to communicate in the local language with site researchers. In the HCP scale, a low score indicated greater provider engagement. Country comparisons showed that PLHIV in Namibia had the most HCP engagement (OR 2.80, p < 0.001) and that PLHIV in China had the least engagement (OR -7.03, p < 0.0001) compared to the PLHIV in the Western countries. Individuals having better HCP engagement showed better self-efficacy for adherence (t = -5.22, p < 0.0001), missed fewer medication doses (t = 1.92, p ≤ 0.05), had lower self-esteem ratings (t = 2.67, p < 0.01), fewer self-reported symptoms (t = 3.25, p < 0.0001), and better overall QOL physical condition (t = -3.39, p < 0.001). This study suggests that promoting engagement with the HCP is necessary to facilitate skills that help PLHIV manage their HIV. To improve ART adherence, HCPs should work on strategies to enhance self-efficacy and self-esteem, therefore, exhibiting fewer HIV-related symptoms and missing less medication doses to achieve better QOL.
    Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research 11/2013; 4(11):256. · 6.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to examine differences in self-schemas between persons living with HIV/AIDS with and without depressive symptoms, and the degree to which these self-schemas predict depressive symptoms in this population. Self-schemas are beliefs about oneself and include self-esteem, HIV symptom management self-efficacy, and self-compassion. Beck's cognitive theory of depression guided the analysis of data from a sample of 1766 PLHIV from the USA and Puerto Rico. Sixty-five percent of the sample reported depressive symptoms. These symptoms were significantly (p ≤ 0.05), negatively correlated with age (r = -0.154), education (r = -0.106), work status (r = -0.132), income adequacy (r = -0.204, self-esteem (r = -0.617), HIV symptom self-efficacy (r = - 0.408), and self-kindness (r = - 0.284); they were significantly, positively correlated with gender (female/transgender) (r = 0.061), white or Hispanic race/ethnicity (r = 0.047) and self-judgment (r = 0.600). Fifty-one percent of the variance (F = 177.530 (df = 1524); p < 0.001) in depressive symptoms was predicted by the combination of age, education, work status, income adequacy, self-esteem, HIV symptom self-efficacy, and self-judgment. The strongest predictor of depressive symptoms was self-judgment. Results lend support to Beck's theory that those with negative self-schemas are more vulnerable to depression and suggest that clinicians should evaluate PLHIV for negative self-schemas. Tailored interventions for the treatment of depressive symptoms in PLHIV should be tested and future studies should evaluate whether alterations in negative self-schemas are the mechanism of action of these interventions and establish causality in the treatment of depressive symptoms in PLHIV.
    AIDS Care 10/2013; · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    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. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The objective of this study was to extend the psychometric evaluation of a brief version of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). A secondary analysis of data from an international sample of 1967 English-speaking persons living with HIV disease was used to examine the factor structure, and reliability of the 12-item Brief Version Self-Compassion Inventory (BVSCI). A Maximum Likelihood factor analysis and Oblimin with Kaiser Normalization confirmed a two-factor solution, accounting for 42.58% of the variance. The BVSCI supported acceptable internal consistencies, with 0.714 for the total scale and 0.822 for Factor I and 0.774 for Factor II. Factor I (lower self-compassion) demonstrated strongly positive correlations with measures of anxiety and depression, while Factor II (high self-compassion) was inversely correlated with the measures. No significant differences were found in the BVSCI scores for gender, age, or having children. Levels of self-compassion were significantly higher in persons with HIV disease and other physical and psychological health conditions. The scale shows promise for the assessment of self-compassion in persons with HIV without taxing participants, and may prove essential in investigating future research aimed at examining correlates of self-compassion, as well as providing data for tailoring self-compassion interventions for persons with HIV.
    AIDS Care 03/2013; · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment self-efficacy is the confidence held by an individual in her or his ability to follow treatment recommendations, including specific HIV care such as initiating and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART). The purpose of this study was to explore the potential mediating role of treatment adherence self-efficacy in the relationships between Social Cognitive Theory constructs and self- reported ART adherence. Design: Cross-sectional and descriptive. The study was conducted between 2009 and 2011 and included 1,414 participants who lived in the United States or Puerto Rico and were taking antiretroviral medications. Methods: Social cognitive constructs were tested specifically: behaviors (three adherence measures each consisting of one item about adherence at 3-day and 30-day along with the adherence rating scale), cognitive or personal factors (the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale to assess for depressive symptoms, the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) to assess physical functioning, one item about physical condition, one item about comorbidity), environmental influences (the Social Capital Scale, one item about social support), and treatment self-efficacy (HIV Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale). Analysis included descriptive statistics and regression. Results: The average participant was 47 years old, male, and a racial or ethnic minority, had an education of high school or less, had barely adequate or totally inadequate income, did not work, had health insurance, and was living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome for 15 years. The model provided support for adherence self-efficacy as a robust predictor of ART adherence behavior, serving a partial mediating role between environmental influences and cognitive or personal factors. Conclusions: Although other factors such as depressive symptoms and lack of social capital impact adherence to ART, nurses can focus on increasing treatment self-efficacy through diverse interactional strategies using principles of adult learning and strategies to improve health literacy. Clinical Relevance: Adherence to ART reduces the viral load thereby decreasing morbidity and mortality and risk of transmission to uninfected persons. Nurses need to use a variety of strategies to increase treatment self-efficacy.
    Journal of Nursing Scholarship 11/2012; · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of stressful life events (SLE) on medication adherence (3 days, 30 days) as mediated by sense of coherence (SOC), self-compassion (SCS), and engagement with the healthcare provider (eHCP) and whether this differed by international site. Data were obtained from a cross-sectional sample of 2082 HIV positive adults between September 2009 and January 2011 from sites in Canada, China, Namibia, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and US. Statistical tests to explore the effects of stressful life events on antiretroviral medication adherence included descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis of variance, analysis of variance with Bonferroni post-hoc analysis, and path analysis. An examination by international site of the relationships between SLE, SCS, SOC, and eHCP with adherence (3 days and 30 days) indicated these combined variables were related to adherence whether 3 days or 30 days to different degrees at the various sites. SLE, SCS, SOC, and eHCP were significant predictors of adherence past 3 days for the United States (p = < 0.001), Canada (p = 0.006), and Namibia (p = 0.019). The combined independent variables were significant predictors of adherence past 30 days only in the United States and Canada. Engagement with the provider was a significant correlate for antiretroviral adherence in most, but not all, of these countries. Thus, the importance of eHCP cannot be overstated. Nonetheless, our findings need to be accompanied by the caveat that research on variables of interest, while enriched by a sample obtained from international sites, may not have the same relationships in each country.
    AIDS Care 07/2012; · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    BMC Public Health 03/2012; 12:188. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    Scholastika N Iipinge, Louise Pretorius
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    ABSTRACT: The main objective for this study was to investigate the quality of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) treatment and control by the private sector in Namibia. This was a cross-sectional study employing quantitative methodology using different methods of data collection. A self-administered questionnaire exploring General Practitioners (GPs) perceptions of factors that influence the way they manage Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) which was then concluded with the face to face interviews and the checklist that was used while doing observations in the consulting rooms. A total of 50 private general practitioners in the area of Windhoek were interviewed, 48 self-administered questionnaires plus all checklists were received back from the private general practitioners. None of the private general practitioners interviewed had specific training in the syndromic management of the STIs. The 86% of all patients were seen by these private general practitioners on a medical aid, while 14 % pay cash for service provided. With regard to Urethral Discharge, an average of 56.5% of GPs could treat urethral discharge correctly as per the Namibian syndromic approach guidelines. None of the GPs could demonstrate the correct treatment of genital ulcer (whether they received medical aid or not) as recommended in the syndromic approach guidelines in Namibia (GRN, 1999; 2000). Only 28% of the GPs could demonstrate the correct treatment of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) as per the syndromic management of the STIs. For patients without medical aid the drugs prescribed and their dosages for PID are correct but the frequencies are not in line with the guidelines as for patients with medical aid. In general, patients presenting with STIs to the GPs in private practices are not given quality of care because not all private general practitioners have time to do investigations, counseling, give condoms and to notify the partners of those with urethral discharge, genital ulcers and PID looking for treatment.
    Global journal of health science 01/2012; 4(5):156-71.
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    ABSTRACT: Same-sex practices are stigmatized in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Cross-sectional relationships between discrimination, access to and use of health care services, and HIV knowledge among men who have sex with men (MSM) were assessed in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana. A survey and HIV screening were used to explore these variables and the prevalence of HIV. Overall, 19% of men screened positive for HIV infection. Ninety-three percent knew HIV is transmitted through anal sex with men, however, only 67% had ever received information of how to prevent this transmission. Few (17%) reported ever disclosing same sex practices to a health professional and 19% reported ever being afraid to seek health care. Men reported ever been denied health care services (5%) and 21% had ever been blackmailed because of their sexuality. Strong associations were observed between experiences of discrimination and fear of seeking health care services. Characterizing the relationship between stigma and health care seeking practices and attitudes can inform the development and implementation of HIV interventions for African MSM.
    AIDS and Behavior 12/2010; 15(6):1088-97. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sexual behaviour of men who have sex with men (MSM) in southern Africa has been little studied. We present here the first data on bisexual partnerships and bisexual concurrency among MSM in Malawi, Namibia and Botswana. A cross-sectional probe of a convenience sample of 537 men who have ever reported anal sex with another man using a structured survey instrument and rapid-kit HIV screening. 34.1% of MSM were married or had a stable female partner, and 53.7% reported both male and female sexual partners in the past 6 months. Bisexual concurrency was common, with 16.6% of MSM having concurrent relationships with both a man and a woman. In bivariate analyses, any bisexual partnerships were associated with lower education (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.3), higher condom use (OR 6.6, 95% CI 3.2 to 13.9), less likelihood of having ever tested for HIV (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.3), less likelihood of having disclosed sexual orientation to family (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.67) and being more likely to have received money for casual sex (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.7). Bisexual concurrency was associated with a higher self-reported condom use (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.1), being employed (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.9), lower likelihood of disclosure of sexual orientation to family (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.65) and having paid for sex with men (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.2). The majority of MSM in this study report some bisexual partnerships in the previous 6 months. Concurrency with sexual partners of both genders is common. Encouragingly, men reporting any concurrent bisexual activity were more likely to report condom use with sexual partners, and these men were not more likely to have HIV infection than men reporting only male partners. HIV-prevention programmes focussing on decreasing concurrent sexual partners in the African context should also target bisexual concurrency among MSM. Decriminalisation of same-sex practices will potentiate evidence-based HIV-prevention programmes targeting MSM.
    Sexually transmitted infections 08/2010; 86(4):323-7. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the generalized epidemics of HIV in southern Sub-Saharan Africa, men who have sex with men have been largely excluded from HIV surveillance and research. Epidemiologic data for MSM in southern Africa are among the sparsest globally, and HIV risk among these men has yet to be characterized in the majority of countries. A cross-sectional anonymous probe of 537 men recruited with non-probability sampling among men who reported ever having had sex with another man in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana using a structured survey instrument and HIV screening with the OraQuick(c) rapid test kit. The HIV prevalence among those between the ages of 18 and 23 was 8.3% (20/241); 20.0% (42/210) among those 24-29; and 35.7% (30/84) among those older than 30 for an overall prevalence of 17.4% (95% CI 14.4-20.8). In multivariate logistic regressions, being older than 25 (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 2.0-8.0), and not always wearing condoms during sex (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3-4.9) were significantly associated with being HIV-positive. Sexual concurrency was common with 16.6% having ongoing concurrent stable relationships with a man and a woman and 53.7% had both male and female sexual partners in proceeding 6 months. Unprotected anal intercourse was common and the use of petroleum-based lubricants was also common when using condoms. Human rights abuses, including blackmail and denial of housing and health care was prevalent with 42.1% (222/527) reporting at least one abuse. MSM are a high-risk group for HIV infection and human rights abuses in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana. Concurrency of sexual partnerships with partners of both genders may play important roles in HIV spread in these populations. Further epidemiologic and evaluative research is needed to assess the contribution of MSM to southern Africa's HIV epidemics and how best to mitigate this. These countries should initiate and adequately fund evidence-based and targeted HIV prevention programs for MSM.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(3):e4997. · 3.53 Impact Factor