The impact of social context on self-management in women living with HIV

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA. Electronic address: .
Social Science [?] Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.89). 06/2013; 87:147-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.03.037
Source: PubMed


HIV self-management is central to the health of people living with HIV and is comprised of the daily tasks individuals employ to manage their illness. Women living with HIV are confronted with social context vulnerabilities that impede their ability to conduct HIV self-management behaviors, including demanding social roles, poverty, homelessness, decreased social capital, and limited access to health care. We examined the relationship between these vulnerabilities and HIV self-management in a cross-sectional secondary analysis of 260 women living with HIV from two U.S. sites. All social context variables were assessed using validated self-report scales. HIV Self-Management was assessed using the HIV Self-Management Scale that measures daily health practices, HIV social support, and the chronic nature of HIV. Data were analyzed using appropriate descriptive statistics and multivariable regression. Mean age was 46 years and 65% of participants were African-American. Results indicated that social context variables, particularly social capital, significantly predicted all domains of HIV self-management including daily health practices (F=5.40, adjusted R2=0.27, p<0.01), HIV social support (F=4.50, adjusted R2=0.22, p<0.01), and accepting the chronic nature of HIV (F=5.57, adjusted R2=0.27, p<0.01). We found evidence to support the influence of the traditional social roles of mother and employee on the daily health practices and the chronic nature of HIV domains of HIV self-management. Our data support the idea that women's social context influences their HIV self-management behavior. While social context has been previously identified as important, our data provide new evidence on which aspects of social context might be important targets of self-management interventions for women living with HIV. Working to improve social capital and to incorporate social roles into the daily health practices of women living with HIV may improve the health of this population.

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Available from: Allison R Webel, Mar 12, 2014
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    • "Self-reported individual-level social capital was measured using 31-items, from the 36-item Social Capital Scale [66-68]. This widely-used instrument measures eight subscales including: participation in the local community, social agency, feelings of trust and safety, neighborhood connections, friends and family connections, tolerance of diversity, value of life, and workplace connections; these items were used to create a total score. "
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