Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Expressive therapy' intervention assists women living with HIV

Date:
July 11, 2014
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
An 'expressive therapy' group intervention helps women living with HIV disclose their health status and improves their social support, self-efficacy and the safety and quality of their relationships, a study has shown. "Medication alone is totally insufficient," said the study's first author. "Over 90 percent of our patients are on effective antiretroviral therapy but far too many are dying from suicide, addiction, and violence. Depression, addiction, and especially trauma are very common and often devastating for women living with HIV but are not being effectively addressed by most clinics."

New research from UC San Francisco shows that an "expressive therapy" group intervention conducted by The Medea Project helps women living with HIV disclose their health status and improves their social support, self-efficacy and the safety and quality of their relationships.

"Medication alone is totally insufficient," said the study's first author, Edward L. Machtinger, MD, director of the Women's HIV Program at UCSF. "Over 90 percent of our patients are on effective antiretroviral therapy but far too many are dying from suicide, addiction, and violence. Depression, addiction, and especially trauma are very common and often devastating for women living with HIV but are not being effectively addressed by most clinics. We believe that helping women develop the skills and confidence to tell their stories publicly will reduce their isolation and be the first step towards their becoming genuinely healthy. We partnered with The Medea Project to deliver an effective expressive therapy intervention that starts to address the primary causes of death in our patients."

The study will appear online July 11, 2014 in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

The Medea Project was founded in 1989 by Rhodessa Jones as a group performance intervention to empower incarcerated women to improve their lives and reduce recidivism. Jones adapted the program to help women living with HIV. The process consists of a series of intensive workshops that culminate in a theatrical performance.

The Medea Project's method focuses on storytelling as a means of healing and empowerment. The storytelling includes talking about and processing other stigmatizing and traumatic experiences in a group setting with the support of other women. In the case of the study, the process included specific prompts given to the women asking how they found out they were HIV-positive and whom they had told about their HIV status. The burden of secrecy was relieved and self-identity could be recast in a more positive light. Then, through public performance, participants felt the power that their stories could have on others and gained both an appreciation for their lives and a desire to unleash their newly found "voices" to change the social conditions that create HIV risk, stigma and trauma.

In the study, eight HIV-positive women and seven HIV-negative women from Medea's core group formed the final performance group that culminated in a professional theatrical run of eight shows seen by more than 1,000 people. None of the HIV-positive participants had publically disclosed their HIV status prior to the study; all disclosed their status during the performances.

"Eddy Machtinger challenged me to take women living with HIV and apply the processes I had used for over two decades with incarcerated women to get them to open up and talk about living with HIV. Sharing is an important process in creating the play and violence is what they talked about the most," said study co-author Rhodessa Jones, director of The Medea Project. "Our data revealed five core themes that described the impact of the intervention on the participants' lives: sisterhood, catharsis, self-acceptance, safer and healthier relationships and gaining a voice.

Importantly, half of the participants reported leaving or avoiding unhealthy or unsafe relationships, a significant impact since we know women living with HIV experience high rates of intimate partner violence," said Machtinger. "Integrating this type of intervention into the primary care of women living with HIV is the first step towards transforming primary care from treatment to actual healing," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. The original article was written by Jeff Sheehy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Edward L. Machtinger, Sonja M. Lavin, Starr Hilliard, Rhodessa Jones, Jessica E. Haberer, Kristen Capito, Carol Dawson-Rose. An expressive therapy group disclosure intervention for women living with HIV improves social support, self-efficacy, and the safety and quality of relationships: A qualitative analysis. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jana.2014.05.001

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "'Expressive therapy' intervention assists women living with HIV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092146.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2014, July 11). 'Expressive therapy' intervention assists women living with HIV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092146.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "'Expressive therapy' intervention assists women living with HIV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092146.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins