Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Carolee Dodge-Francis

Second Committee Member

Sheila Clark

Third Committee Member

Michelle Chino

Fourth Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Fifth Committee Member

Kathryn Hausbeck Korgan

Number of Pages



HIV/AIDS and a subsequent drug regimen can create many negative symptoms and side

effects that lead those infected to seek out alternative and complementary therapies as treatments. Massage therapy is an ancient form of treatment that is now gaining popularity as part of the integrative medicine movement. A phenomenological, qualitative research study was conducted at Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN). Participants received a massage and rich descriptive narratives were captured from the 12 participants, six female and six male, ranging in age from 30-67 years of age. The interviews were transcribed and coded for themes. For the purpose of this qualitative study, the research design included field observations and one on one interviews.

Data was analyzed using a phenomenological lens. The data was coded for themes that emerged from the data and grouped. Four thematic themes resulted from this data analysis Self-efficacy, Human Connectivity through Touch, Physical & Mental Responses, and An Emotional Roller Coaster. Bandura (1993) states “perceived self-efficacy is concerned with people’s beliefs in their ability to influence events that influence their lives.” Many of the participants expressed statements that the non-pharmacology treatment of massage therapy assisted them in making a variety of positive decisions, thus alluding to the question of self-efficacy.


AIDS; CAM; HIV; IPA; Massage Therapy; Self-efficacy


Alternative and Complementary Medicine

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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