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.

Related Articles


"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 December 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 December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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