Group intervention to improve coping with AIDS-related bereavement: model development and an illustrative clinical example.
Despite the widespread losses from AIDS, there have been no published evaluations of mental health interventions for people experiencing AIDS-related bereavement. We describe a cognitive behavioural coping model for support group interventions with people who experience an AIDS-related loss. The support group model consists of six primary components to address grief-related responses and the unique features of AIDS bereavement: social support and group cohesion; identification and expression of emotion; identification of AIDS loss specific coping challenges; recognition of current coping; goal setting; and, implementation of adaptive coping to reduce psychological distress. The model integrates theories of cognitive behavioural coping within a social support group context. Results of a pilot study with four men and four women showed that the intervention model cast into eight group sessions significantly reduced depression, intrusive experiences, grief reactions, demoralization, and overall psychological distress immediately following the intervention and at a 3-month follow-up assessment. The intervention appeared to facilitate the adjustment of these bereaved persons and warrants further study.
Sikkema, KJ; Kalichman, SC; Kelly, JA; Koob, JJ
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