Social support within ethnically diverse HIV -positive women
Camille, Joanne Nancy
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This study examined the role of social support in the HIV-positive female population with diverse ethnic backgrounds and the related implications for mental health. For this study, 479 women [language groups: English (n=237), Spanish (n=182) and Creole (n=60)] with HIV/AIDS were recruited from New York, New Jersey and Miami. The mean age of the participants was 41.94 +/- 9.13 years old. This study used the baseline data from the Stress Management and Relaxation Therapy/Expressive Supportive Therapy (SMART/EST) Women's Project II. The participants were asked to report the amount of HIV/AIDS-related social support received from different groups of individuals: partners, friends, relatives, support groups, spiritual communities and healthcare providers. Depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). This study showed that there are significant differences between the language groups for HIV-related social support from partners [F (2,392) = 4.66, p < .05]; friends [F (2,392) 9.89, p < .001); relatives [F (2,392) = 4.87, p < .01]; support groups [F (2,392) = 9.72, p < .001]; spiritual communities [F (2,392) = 6.58, p < .01] and healthcare providers [F (2,392) = 6.33, p < .01]. The results suggest that the Creole group received the least amount of HIV-related social support. Although the participants received different levels of social support, logistic regression revealed that low social support was not predictive of mental health status. Logistic regression in several different models also revealed that HIV-related physical symptoms were predictive of depression (p < .001). The findings showed the significance of physical symptoms in this population.