[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Public health agencies face difficult decisions when allocating scarce resources to control the spread of HIV/AIDS. Decisions are often made with few local empirical data. We demonstrated the use of the robust decision making approach in Los Angeles County, an approach that is data driven and allows decision makers to compare the performance of various intervention strategies across thousands of simulated future scenarios. We found that the prevailing strategy of emphasizing behavioral risk reduction interventions was unlikely to achieve the policy goals of the national HIV/AIDS strategy. Of the alternative strategies we examined, those that invested most heavily in interventions to initiate antiretroviral treatment and support treatment adherence were the most likely to achieve policy objectives. By employing similar methods, other public health agencies can identify robust strategies and invest in interventions more likely to achieve HIV/AIDS policy goals.
Health Affairs 03/2014; 33(3):410-7. · 4.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study used a stage-based approach to understand condom use behavior in a representative sample of 309 sexually active homeless youth recruited from shelters, drop-in centers, and street sites in Los Angeles County. Focusing on the youth's most recent sexual event, the three stages of condom use examined were: (1) whether the partners decided prior to the event about using condoms; (2) whether a condom was available at the event; and (3) whether a condom was used at the event. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify attitudinal, relationship, and contextual correlates of each of these three stages. Deciding ahead of time about condom use was associated with being Hispanic, level of education, condom attitudes, and various relationship characteristics (e.g., partner type, monogamy, relationship abuse), with the nature of these associations varying depending on the type of decision (i.e., deciding to use, deciding to not use). Condom availability was more likely to be reported by males, if the event was described as being special in some way, or if the event lacked privacy. Condom use was more likely among youth with more positive condom attitudes and among youth who decide ahead of time to use a condom, but less likely among those in monogamous relationships or when hard drugs were used prior to sex. Whether sexual intercourse is protected or unprotected is the end result of a series of decisions and actions by sexual partners. Results from this study illustrate how condom use can be better understood by unpacking the stages and identifying influential factors at each stage. Each stage may, in and of itself, be an important target for intervention with homeless youth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression is common among people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, little is known about how depression influences physical health and socioeconomic well-being in the context of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Semistructured interviews with 40 adult HIV clients receiving ART in Uganda were conducted to assess experiences prior to and after HIV diagnosis and initiation of ART. Content analysis revealed themes that were suggestive of the following patterns: (1) functioning decreased after patients were diagnosed with HIV, but improved following ART, (2) depression is associated with lower physical health functioning and work status levels after both HIV diagnosis and ART, and (3) antidepressant medication is associated with better functioning compared with patients with depression not receiving depression treatment. These findings suggest that depression plays a role in the deleterious effects of HIV on functioning, and that antidepressant treatment provided alongside ART may serve to help individuals regain functioning, particularly employment. These findings highlight the potential value of integrating depression treatment into HIV care.
Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (JIAPAC) 02/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted interviews with 27 health care personnel in Bogotá, Colombia, to examine provider barriers and facilitators to screening for intimate partner violence (IPV). We used systematic qualitative analysis to identify the range and consistency of beliefs. We found that respondents did not routinely screen for IPV. Providers listed numerous barriers to screening. Ways to improve screening included increased clinician training, installing systematic IPV screening, providing patient education, and implementing health care setting interventions. Improving the care for IPV survivors will involve translating health care personnel preferred solutions into more systematic IPV screening interventions.
Health Care For Women International 03/2012; 33(3):250-61. · 0.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: There is no global definition of well-being. Cultural differences in the perception of well-being and the social and behavioral contexts further limit its measurement. Existing instruments are developed in Western societies that differ in their conceptualization of well-being from Asian populations. Moreover, very few instruments address the multidimensional construct of well-being. METHODS: Literature was reviewed to develop a priori conceptual framework of mental health and well-being. Concepts were identified based on specific criteria to guide the qualitative investigations. Finally, focus group discussions were conducted among adults belonging to the three major ethnicities in Singapore to identify salient domains of mental health and well-being. RESULTS: Mental well-being is a multidimensional construct constituting of positive affect, satisfaction, and psychological functioning. While well-being explains the functional and psychological components, positive mental health is a combination of these and the skills required to achieve them. Although there is an overlap between the concepts identified from the literature and those identified in Singapore, certain differences existed, particularly with the relevance attributed to family interactions and religiosity or spirituality. Similar findings were observed across the three ethnic groups. CONCLUSION: Domains identified can be used to develop a culturally relevant instrument in Singapore.
Quality of Life Research 01/2012; · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Childhood abuse has been linked to negative sequelae for women later in life including drug and alcohol use and violence as victim or perpetrator and may also affect the development of women's social networks. Childhood abuse is prevalent among at-risk populations of women (such as the homeless) and thus may have a stronger impact on their social networks. We conducted a study to: (a) develop a typology of sheltered homeless women's social networks; (b) determine whether childhood abuse was associated with the social networks of sheltered homeless women; and (c) determine whether those associations remained after accounting for past-year substance abuse and recent intimate partner abuse.
A probability sample of 428 homeless women from temporary shelter settings in Los Angeles County completed a personal network survey that provided respondent information as well as information about their network members' demographics and level of interaction with each other. Cluster analyses identified groups of women who shared specific social network characteristics. Multinomial logistic regressions revealed variables associated with group membership.
We identified three groups of women with differing social network characteristics: low-risk networks, densely connected risky networks (dense, risky), and sparsely connected risky networks (sparse, risky). Multinomial logistic regressions indicated that membership in the sparse, risky network group, when compared to the low-risk group, was associated with history of childhood physical abuse (but not sexual or emotional abuse). Recent drug abuse was associated with membership in both risky network groups; however, the association of childhood physical abuse with sparse, risky network group membership remained.
Although these findings support theories proposing that the experience of childhood abuse can shape women's social networks, they suggest that it may be childhood physical abuse that has the most impact among homeless women.
The effects of childhood physical abuse should be more actively investigated in clinical settings, especially those frequented by homeless women, particularly with respect to the formation of social networks in social contexts that may expose these women to greater risks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study used an event-based approach to understand condom use in a probability sample of 309 homeless youth recruited from service and street sites in Los Angeles County. Condom use was significantly less likely when hard drug use preceded sex, the relationship was serious, the partners talked about "pulling out", or sex occurred in a non-private place (and marginally less likely when heavier drinking preceded sex, or the partnership was monogamous or abusive). Condom use was significantly more likely when the youth held positive condom attitudes or were concerned about pregnancy, the partners talked about condom use, and the partners met up by chance. This study extends previous work by simultaneously examining a broad range of individual, relationship, and contexual factors that may play a role in condom use. Results identify a number of actionable targets for programs aimed at reducing HIV/STI transmission and pregnancy risk among homeless youth.
AIDS and Behavior 08/2011; 16(6):1699-707. · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homeless men in the U.S. represent a large and growing population, and have elevated rates of HIV/AIDS and sexual risk behaviors, including unprotected sex with women. We conducted qualitative interviews (n = 30) with homeless men using shelters and meal lines in downtown Los Angeles (Skid Row) to better understand how such men view the risks of sexual encounters with female partners. Men living on Skid Row perceived multiple risks, including HIV and unwanted pregnancy as well as emotional trauma, loss of resources, exacerbation of drug addiction, and physical attack. Respondents described using visual and behavioral cues, social reputation, geographical location, feelings of trust, perceived relationship seriousness, and medically inaccurate "folk" beliefs to judge whether partners were risky and/or condom use was warranted. Medically inaccurate beliefs suggest the potential utility of evidence-based interventions to change such beliefs. We also consider implications for relationships on the street and housing interventions.
AIDS and Behavior 06/2011; 16(3):774-84. · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite a decade's worth of effort, patient safety has improved slowly, in part because of the limited evidence base for the development and widespread dissemination of successful patient safety practices. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sponsored an international group of experts in patient safety and evaluation methods to develop criteria to improve the design, evaluation, and reporting of practice research in patient safety. This article reports the findings and recommendations of this group, which include greater use of theory and logic models, more detailed descriptions of interventions and their implementation, enhanced explanation of desired and unintended outcomes, and better description and measurement of context and of how context influences interventions. Using these criteria and measuring and reporting contexts will improve the science of patient safety.
Annals of internal medicine 05/2011; 154(10):693-6. · 13.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Translating the extraordinary scientific and technological advances occurring in medical research laboratories into care for patients in communities throughout the country has been a major challenge. One contributing factor has been the relative absence of community practitioners from the US biomedical research enterprise. Identifying and addressing the barriers that prevent their participation in research should help bridge the gap between basic research and practice to improve quality of care for all Americans.
We interviewed over 200 clinicians and other healthcare stakeholders from 2004 through 2005 to develop a conceptual framework and set of strategies for engaging a stable cadre of community clinicians in a clinical research program.
Lack of engagement of community practitioners, lack of necessary infrastructure, and the current misalignment of financial incentives and research participation emerged as the three primary barriers to community clinician research participation. Although every effort was made to learn key motivators for engagement in clinical research from interviewees, we did not observe their behavior and self-report by clinicians does not always track with their behavior.
A paradigm shift involving acknowledgement of the value of clinicians in the context of community research, establishment of a stable infrastructure to support a cohort of clinicians across time and research studies, and realignment of incentives to encourage participation in clinical research is required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With increased uptake of antiretroviral therapy (ART) throughout sub-Saharan Africa, it is critical to have a better understanding of the impact of ART on all health dimensions since the treatment can have the expected benefits as well as unintended negative consequences. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 adult HIV clients (19 women and 5 men) in Uganda who had been on ART for at least six months. A grounded approach and content analysis were used to explore the effects of having HIV and undergoing ART on household continuity, social engagement, experience of support and stigma, and children's school attendance. Most of the participants reported loss of a spouse/partner and household discontinuity (e.g. having to move in with extended family) because of HIV, and this was largely unchanged after being on ART. While experiences of HIV stigma and social disengagement were common after an HIV diagnosis, most participants reported improved social interaction after having commenced ART, which for some was tied to economic productivity. Many of the participants’ children who had stopped going to school were able to return after the parent was on ART. HIV care and ART, with related improvements in clients’ physical and work-related functioning, together with family support, helped to reverse some of the deleterious effects of having HIV. Nonetheless, support that augments healthcare is needed to help individuals provide for themselves and their families, both socially and economically.
African Journal of AIDS Research 04/2011; 10(1):37-42. · 0.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New National Institutes of Health policies call for expansion of practice-based research to improve the clinical research enterprise and facilitate dissemination of evidence-based medicine.
This paper describes organizational strategies that influence clinicians' decisions to participate in clinical research.
We reviewed the literature and interviewed over 200 clinicians and stakeholders.
The most common barriers to community clinician participation in clinical research relate to beliefs that clinical research is too burdensome and has little benefit for the participating clinician or patient. We identified a number of approaches healthcare organizations can use to encourage clinicians to participate in research, including an outreach campaign to promote the benefits of clinical research; selection of study topics of interest to clinicians; establishment and enforcement of a set of research principles valuing the clinician and patient; development of a transparent schedule of reimbursement for research tasks; provision of technological and technical assistance to practices as needed; and promotion of a sense of community among clinicians involved in practice-based research.
Many types of existing healthcare organizations could provide the technical and intellectual assistance community clinicians need to participate in clinical research. Multiple approaches are possible.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The National Institutes of Health has called for expansion of practice-based research to improve the clinical research enterprise.
This paper presents a model for the reorganization of clinical research to foster long-term participation by community clinicians.Based on the literature and interviews with clinicians and other stakeholders, we posited a model, conducted further interviews to test the viability of the model, and further adapted it.
We propose a three-dimensional system of checks and balances to support community clinicians using research support organizations, community outreach, a web-based registry of clinicians and studies, web-based training services, quality audits, and a feedback mechanism for clinicians engaged in research.
The proposed model is designed to offer a systemic mechanism to address current barriers that prevent clinicians from participation in research. Transparent mechanisms to guarantee the safety of patients and the integrity of the research enterprise paired with efficiencies and economies of scale are maintained by centralizing some of the functions. Assigning other responsibilities to more local levels assures flexibility with respect to the size of the clinician networks and the changing needs of researchers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Travelers are a migratory subgroup of homeless youth who may be especially prone to engaging in risky behavior. This study compared the substance use and sexual behavior of young homeless travelers and non-travelers to evaluate the extent and possible sources of travelers' increased risk. Data came from face-to-face interviews with 419 homeless youth (36.6% female, 34.0% white, 23.9% African American, and 20.0% Hispanic) between the ages of 13 and 24 years (M = 20.1 years, SD = 2.5) who were randomly sampled from 41 shelters, drop-in centers, and street sites in Los Angeles. Travelers were almost twice as likely as non-travelers to exhibit recent heavy drinking, 37% more likely to exhibit recent marijuana use, and five times as likely to have injected drugs. Travelers also had more recent sex partners and were more likely to report having casual or need-based sexual partners and combining sex with substance use. Mediation analyses suggest that travelers' deviant peer associations and disconnection to conventional individuals and institutions may drive their elevated substance use. Differences in sexual risk behaviors are likely attributable to demographic differences between the two groups. Overall, these differences between travelers and non-travelers suggest different service needs and the need for different service approaches.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 03/2011; 40(12):1634-48. · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that significantly affects patients' quality of life. The myriad complexities of the disease, including its nonmotor manifestations, are beginning to be more fully appreciated, particularly in regard to the emotional and social effects of PD. Considering that both motor and nonmotor manifestations of PD significantly influence the health outcomes and conditions of patients, and their health-related quality of life (HRQOL), we collected qualitative data from patients with PD, as well as caregivers of persons with PD having cognitive impairment, to assess their perceptions of the impact of PD on HRQOL. METHODS: We conducted eight focus groups and five one-on-one interviews in English and in Spanish between March 2007 and February 2008. Three of the focus groups were conducted with a total of 15 caregivers; the remaining focus groups and all interviews were conducted with 48 PD patients. Study participants were asked about the challenges that PD patients may experience, particularly pertaining to physical functioning, the impact of PD on their emotional status, and social functioning. RESULTS: Based on analysis of the transcripts, we identified seven overarching domains or themes that reflect patients' perspectives on living with PD, ie, physical functioning, social and role functioning, emotional impact, fears and uncertainty about the future, stigma and other feelings about PD, coping mechanisms, and benefits of having PD. CONCLUSION: We underscore the salient aspects regarding the physical effects of PD along with its nonphysical ramifications, offering perspectives into the experience of PD and suggestions on how PD patients and their caregivers may cope with the disease.
Patient Related Outcome Measures 03/2011; 2011(2):57-70.