Yale University

Writing about risk: use of daily diaries in understanding drug-user risk behaviors.

TitleWriting about risk: use of daily diaries in understanding drug-user risk behaviors.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsStopka, Thomas J., Kristen W. Springer, Kaveh Khoshnood, Susan Shaw, and Merrill Singer
JournalAIDS and behavior
Date Published2004 Mar
KeywordsAdult, Data Collection, Emotions, Female, Health Care Surveys, Hepatitis C, HIV Infections, Humans, Male, Needle Sharing, Risk-Taking, Substance Abuse, Intravenous
AbstractAs part of a larger syringe access and HIV risk study, a subsample of 23 current injection drug users completed daily diaries, highlighting activities related to syringe acquisition, use, and discard. Diaries have been previously utilized in a variety of psychological, public health, and nutrition studies to assess risk as well as correlated behaviors. We piloted the diary methodology in three northeastern U.S. cities (Hartford and New Haven, CT, and Springfield, MA) to learn about correlates of HIV risk. We discovered that the method provided advantages over several other qualitative and ethnographic methods. Results indicate that daily diaries elucidated (1) patterns of injection drug use, (2) sporadic and high-risk events, (3) HIV and hepatitis risk related to the syringe life cycle, and (4) emotional correlates of drug use. Furthermore, we witnessed an unexpected intervention effect that the diary may have in the lives of drug users.
Alternate JournalAIDS Behav

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