[show abstract][hide abstract] 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
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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.
[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. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies concerning persons living with HIV (PLWH) report that stressful life events (SLEs) contribute to an exacerbation of symptoms and reduced antiretroviral (ARV) adherence and quality of life (QOL). Little is known about whether these findings are site-specific. Our study's aims were to characterize the type and frequency of SLEs for PLWH in Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the United States, and to assess the impact of SLEs by national site, symptoms, and ARV adherence concerns on QOL. The sample consisted of 704 participants. The total number of SLEs correlated significantly with the total number of symptoms, adherence concerns, and QOL (p ≤ .001). Overall, 27.2% of the variance in QOL was explained by the aforementioned variables. Although SLEs were of concern to PLWH, worries about ARV adherence were of even greater concern. Routine assessment of ARV concerns and SLEs can promote ongoing ARV adherence and improved QOL.
The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: JANAC 03/2013; · 0.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Educating nurses for the 21st century requires a broad understanding of the health needs of local and global communities. With an increasingly diverse population, nursing students in the United States can gain a unique perspective on health disparities and challenges in providing healthcare for diverse populations. Nursing education has the opportunity to engage students in our global village by providing clinical and theory-based educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Some nursing educational settings in schools of nursing provide global nursing opportunities to explore the social responsibility of nursing. This paper details a specific framework and opportunities for engaging undergraduate and graduate nursing students in caring for the underserved in our global village. Opportunities in the Fulbright Student Exchange Program and Fulbright Senior Scholar Award mechanisms are discussed, and partnerships with international nursing programs are explored.
MCN. The American journal of maternal child nursing 11/2012; 37(6):367-372. · 0.79 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent, underdiagnosed, and undertreated in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH), and are associated with poorer health outcomes. This randomized controlled trial examined the effects of the HIV/AIDS Symptom Management Manual self-care symptom management strategies compared with a nutrition manual on depressive symptoms in an international sample of PLWH. The sample consisted of a sub-group (N=222) of participants in a larger study symptom management study who reported depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms of the intervention (n=124) and control (n=98) groups were compared over three months: baseline, one-month, and two-months. Use and effectiveness of specific strategies were examined. Depressive symptom frequency at baseline varied significantly by country (χ (2) 12.9; p=0.04). Within the intervention group there were significant differences across time in depressive symptom frequency [F(2, 207) = 3.27, p=0.05], intensity [F(2, 91) = 4.6, p=0.01], and impact [F(2, 252) = 2.92, p= 0.05), and these were significantly lower at one month but not at two months, suggesting that self-care strategies are effective in reducing depressive symptoms, however effects may be short term. Most used and most effective self-care strategies were distraction techniques and prayer. This study suggests that people living with HIV can be taught and will employ self-care strategies for management of depressive symptoms and that these strategies are effective in reducing these symptoms. Self-care strategies are noninvasive, have no side-effects, and can be readily taught as an adjunct to other forms of treatment. Studies are needed to identify the most effective self-care strategies and quantify optimum dose and frequency of use as a basis for evidence-based practice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: General self-efficacy (GSE), the expectation that one is able to perform a behavior successfully, may differentiate those who are able to successfully utilize self-care symptom management strategies (SCSMS). This subanalysis (n=569) of an international 12 site longitudinal randomized controlled trial (RCT) (n=775), investigated GSE as an important factor determining symptom burden, SCSMS, engagement with the provider, and medication adherence over time, and identified differences in those with high and low GSE ratings concerning these variables. Parametric and nonparametric repeated-measures tests were employed to assess GSE and the perceived effectiveness of SCSMS for anxiety, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and neuropathy. Symptom burden, engagement with the provider, and antiretroviral adherence were analyzed with regard to GSE. Our data indicated that there were differences in the perceived symptom burden over time of HIV infected individuals by GSE. Those individuals with higher GSE had fewer symptoms and these symptoms were perceived to be less intense than those experienced by the low GSE group. There were few meaningful differences in the SCSMS used by those with high versus low GSE other than the use of illicit substances in the low GSE group. The low GSE group was also significantly (p= < 0.001) less engaged with their healthcare providers. Given the difference in substance use by perceived GSE, and the importance of engagement with the healthcare provider, more attention to the resolution of the concerns of those with low GSE by healthcare providers is warranted.
AIDS patient care and STDs 05/2012; 26(6):335-43. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since HIV infection can be spread through sexual contact, it is important to understand how sexual behavior is expressed in
different age groups. The purpose of this article was to conduct a secondary analysis of a multi-site study to explore sexual
function in a sample of younger /older HIV+persons living in the United States (N = 558) and Puerto Rico (N = 98). Data were
collected using a demographic survey and the Sexual Function subscale of the HIV Assessment Tool (HAT)-Quality of Life instrument.
Independent sample t-tests found significant differences (p = .002) in sexual function for younger/adult HIV+person in the US but not in PR (p = .770). Regional variations in sexual function need to be explored in order to tailor the most effective primary and secondary
HIV prevention messages.
KeywordsAging with HIV/AIDS–Sexual function–Health-related quality of life
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vulnerability of children in Haiti has increased dramatically since the earthquake in January 2010. Prior to the earthquake, the prevalence of orphans and at-risk children was high but since the earthquake, more than 1 million people-with more than 380,000 children remaining displaced and living in over 1200 displacement sites. These existing conditions leave orphans and at-risk children vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and increased risk of HIV/AIDS. This article will focus on the complex issues affecting orphans and at-risk children and the intersection with HIV/AIDS and human rights. Specific recommendations by United Nations Children's Fund are discussed. Nursing in Haiti must address the policy-related and population-specific approaches for the care of children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
ANS. Advances in nursing science 04/2012; 35(2):182-9. · 0.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to identify the baseline prevalence and effectiveness of anxiety self-management strategies in a convenience sample of persons living with HIV (PLWH; n = 343) in the United States, Puerto Rico, Kenya, and South Africa who reported HIV-related anxiety symptoms. Relationships between demographics and anxiety characteristics were determined, as was the effectiveness of self-care activities/behaviors to reduce anxiety. We found that the use of anxiety self-management strategies varied by gender and that ratings of effectiveness varied by country. Highest anxiety intensity scores were found in participants who were taking antiretroviral medications and who had undetectable viral loads. Forty-five percent of the persons with a diagnosis of AIDS reported anxiety symptoms. As HIV increases in areas of the world where self-care is the primary approach to managing HIV, additional research will be needed to address the effectiveness of cross-cultural differences in strategies for self-managing HIV-related anxiety.
The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: JANAC 08/2011; 23(2):111-23. · 0.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unhealthy substance-use behaviors, including a heavy alcohol intake, illicit drug use, and cigarette smoking, are engaged in by many HIV-positive individuals, often as a way to manage their disease-related symptoms. This study, based on data from a larger randomized controlled trial of an HIV/AIDS symptom management manual, examines the prevalence and characteristics of unhealthy behaviors in relation to HIV/AIDS symptoms. The mean age of the sample (n = 775) was 42.8 years and 38.5% of the sample was female. The mean number of years living with HIV was 9.1 years. The specific self-reported unhealthy substance-use behaviors were the use of marijuana, cigarettes, a large amount of alcohol, and illicit drugs. A subset of individuals who identified high levels of specific symptoms also reported significantly higher substance-use behaviors, including amphetamine and injection drug use, heavy alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use. The implications for clinical practice include the assessment of self-care behaviors, screening for substance abuse, and education of persons regarding the self-management of HIV.
Nursing and Health Sciences 01/2011; 13(1):16-26. · 0.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In preparation for a proposed intervention at an antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinic in Durban, South Africa, we explored the dynamics and patterns of cellular phone use among this population, in order to ascertain whether clinic contact via patients' cellular phones was a feasible and acceptable modality for appointment reminders and adherence messages. Adults, who were more than 18 years old, ambulatory, and who presented for treatment at the clinic between October-December 2007, were consecutively recruited until the sample size was reached (n = 300). A structured questionnaire was administered, including questions surrounding sociodemographics, cellular phone availability, patterns of use, and acceptability of clinic contact for the purpose of clinic appointment reminders and adherence support. Most respondents (n = 242; 81%) reported current ownership of a cellular phone with 95% utilizing a prepaid airtime service. Those participants who currently owned a cellular phone reported high cellular phone turnover due to theft or loss (n = 94, 39%) and/or damage (n = 68, 28%). More females than men switched their cell phones off during the day (p = 0.002) and were more likely to not take calls in certain social milieus (p ≤ 0.0001). Females were more likely to share their cell phone with others (p = 0.002) or leave it in a place where someone could access it (p = 0.005). Most respondents were willing to have clinic contact via their cellular phones, either verbally (99%) or via text messages (96%). The use of cellular phones for intervention purposes is feasible and should be further investigated. The findings highlight the value of gender-based analyses in informing interventions.
AIDS patient care and STDs 11/2010; 24(11):729-34. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent yet undertreated in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs). As part of a larger study of symptom self-management (N=1217), this study examined the prevalence, correlates, and characteristics (intensity, distress, and impact) of depressive symptoms, and the self-care strategies used to manage those symptoms in PLHAs in five countries. The proportion of respondents from each country in the total sample reporting depressive symptoms in the past week varied and included Colombia (44%), Norway (66%), Puerto Rico (57%), Taiwan (35%), and the USA (56%). Fifty-four percent (n=655) of the total sample reported experiencing depressive symptoms in the past week, with a mean of 4.1 (SD 2.1) days of depression. Mean depression intensity 5.4 (SD 2.7), distressfulness 5.5 (SD 2.86), and impact 5.5 (SD 3.0) were rated on a 1-10 scale. The mean Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score for those reporting depressive symptoms was 27 (SD 11; range 3-58), and varied significantly by country. Respondents identified 19 self-care behaviors for depressive symptoms, which fell into six categories: complementary therapies, talking to others, distraction techniques, physical activity, medications, and denial/avoidant coping. The most frequently used strategies varied by country. In the US sample, 33% of the variance in depressive symptoms was predicted by the combination of education, HIV symptoms, psychological and social support, and perceived consequences of HIV disease.
AIDS Care 09/2010; 22(9):1159-70. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As part of a larger randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of an HIV/AIDS symptom management manual (n = 775), this study examined the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in HIV-infected individuals at 12 sites in the USA, Puerto Rico, and Africa. Neuropathy was reported by 44% of the sample; however, only 29.4% reported initiating self-care behaviors to address the neuropathy symptoms. Antiretroviral therapy was found to increase the frequency of neuropathy symptoms, with an increased mean intensity of 28%. A principal axis factor analysis with Promax rotation was used to assess the relationships in the frequency of use of the 18 self-care activities for neuropathy, revealing three distinct factors: (i) an interactive self-care factor; (ii) a complementary medicine factor; and (iii) a third factor consisting of the negative health items of smoking, alcohol, and street drugs. The study's results suggest that peripheral neuropathy is a common symptom and the presence of neuropathy is associated with self-care behaviors to ameliorate HIV symptoms. The implications for nursing practice include the assessment and evaluation of nursing interventions related to management strategies for neuropathy.
Nursing and Health Sciences 03/2010; 12(1):119-26. · 0.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given that antiretroviral (ARV) medication adherence has been shown to be high in resource-limited countries, the question remains as to whether adherence will remain at that level as medications become more widely available. Comparing adherence to tuberculosis (TB) medications, which have been readily available, and ARV medications may help to indicate the likely future adherence to ARVs as access to these medications becomes more widespread. This study examined sense of coherence, social support, symptom status, quality of life, and adherence to medications in two samples of individuals being treated either for TB or human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) at clinics in Durban, South Africa. Findings revealed the distinctive socio-economic backgrounds of the two cohorts. Although there were significant differences with regard to the psychosocial variables, there were no significant differences by the two samples in adherence to medications as well as adherence to appointments. Given the self-selected nature of the participants in this study, namely those able to attend clinic, as well as those likely to be adherent to ARVs, there is every reason for caution in the interpretations of these findings. As access to ARV medications becomes more widely available in South Africa, the question remains as to whether such high adherence will be maintained given the constraints of access to food and other basic necessities.
AIDS Care 09/2009; 21(9):1106-13. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study addresses social responsibility in the discipline of nursing and implications for global health. The concept of social responsibility is explicated and its relevance for nursing is examined, grounded in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics and the International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics. Social justice, human rights, nurse migration, and approaches to nursing education are discussed within the framework of nursing's social responsibility. Strategies for addressing nursing workforce issues and education within a framework of social responsibility are explored.
Policy Politics & Nursing Practice 09/2009; 10(2):110-8.