Improvements in health-related quality of life following a group intervention for coping with AIDS-bereavement among HIV-infected men and women.
(Clinical Trial;Journal Article)
BACKGROUND: AIDS-related bereavement is a severe life stressor that may be particularly distressing to persons themselves infected with HIV. Increasing evidence suggests that psychological health is associated with disease progression, HIV-related symptoms, and mortality. PURPOSE: This study assessed change in health-related quality of life among HIV + persons following a group intervention for coping with AIDS-related loss. METHODS: The sample included 235 HIV + men and women of diverse ethnicities and sexual orientations who had experienced an AIDS-related loss within the previous 2 years. Participants were randomly assigned to a 12-week cognitive-behavioral bereavement coping group intervention or offered individual psychotherapy upon request. Quality of life was assessed at baseline and 2 weeks after the intervention. RESULTS: Participants in the group intervention demonstrated improvements in general health-related and HIV-specific quality of life, while those in the comparison remained the same or deteriorated. Effect sizes indicated that the majority of change occurred in women. CONCLUSION: This bereavement group aimed at improving coping with grief also had a positive impact on health-related quality of life among HIV + men and women, and suggests that cognitive-behavioral interventions may have a broad impact on both emotional and physical health.
Sikkema, KJ; Hansen, NB; Meade, CS; Kochman, A; Lee, RS
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