Yale University

The impact of structured support groups for pregnant South African women recently diagnosed HIV positive.

TitleThe impact of structured support groups for pregnant South African women recently diagnosed HIV positive.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMundell, Jonathan P., Maretha J. Visser, Jennifer D. Makin, Trace S. Kershaw, Brian W. C. Forsyth, Bridget Jeffery, and Kathleen J. Sikkema
JournalWomen & health
Date Published2011 Aug 31
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Adult, Avoidance Learning, Case-Control Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Resources, HIV Seropositivity, Humans, Poverty, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious, Regression Analysis, Self Concept, Self Disclosure, Self-Help Groups, Social Support, South Africa, Young Adult
AbstractThe authors of this study evaluated a structured 10-session psychosocial support group intervention for newly HIV-diagnosed pregnant South African women. Participants were expected to display increases in HIV disclosure, self-esteem, active coping and positive social support, and decreases in depression, avoidant coping, and negative social support. Three hundred sixty-one pregnant HIV-infected women were recruited from four antenatal clinics in Tshwane townships from April 2005 to September 2006. Using a quasi-experimental design, assessments were conducted at baseline and two and eight months post-intervention. A series of random effects regression analyses were conducted, with the three assessment points treated as a random effect of time. At both follow-ups, the rate of disclosure in the intervention group was significantly higher than that of the comparison group (p<0.001). Compared to the comparison group at the first follow-up, the intervention group displayed higher levels of active coping (t=2.68, p<0.05) and lower levels of avoidant coping (t=-2.02, p<0.05), and those who attended at least half of the intervention sessions exhibited improved self-esteem (t=2.11, p<0.05). Group interventions tailored for newly HIV positive pregnant women, implemented in resource-limited settings, may accelerate the process of adjusting to one's HIV status, but may not have sustainable benefits over time.
Alternate JournalWomen Health

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