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Keywords

Empowerment; Health disparities; HIV; HIV infections; HIV-positive women; Poor women; Power (Social sciences); Self-care, Health; Social networks; Social status – Health aspects; Women

Abstract

This article describes the development of a self-care intervention and examines its efficacy with low-income HIV-positive women (n=34) in the Midwestern United States. Adapted from an individual nurse-led intervention, this effort focused on increasing self-care behaviors through enhancing self-esteem and social support. The investigators used a community-based participatory approach and partnered with three HIV-positive women to adapt and pilot test the new group intervention. A within-group, repeated-measures, pre-/post-test design, together with participant interviews, was used to evaluate the intervention. Mean scores on measures of self-care behaviors, self-esteem, social support and depressive symptoms all changed in the clinically desirable direction. Group interventions, such as the one described here, could be useful if provided in community settings to enhance the mental and physical health of HIV-positive women. Further testing of this intervention with a larger sample is needed to determine its effectiveness.