244533 A pilot of the HOPE intervention among African American gay men living with HIV/AIDS: A community-academic partnership

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Kenneth Hergenrather, PhD, MSEd, MRC , Department of Counseling and Human Development, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Background: Medical advances have increased the longevity of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and provide opportunity for PLWHA to seek employment/return to work and reap its benefits.

Methods: A Washington DC community-academic partnership between the Whitman-Walker Clinic and The George Washington University blended knowledge about the employment-seeking behavior of PLWHA and self-management of chronic conditions with social cognitive theory and hope theory to develop and pilot the Helping Overcome Problems Effectively (HOPE) intervention. HOPE was developed to enhance mental health (self-esteem, self-efficacy, depression, anxiety, and hope) and employment (job-seeking skills, employment status) outcomes for MSM with HIV/AIDS. HOPE was piloted in seven weekly three-hour group sessions with assessments of seven measures at baseline and three-month post-intervention and a structured interview. Each session included social cognitive theory and hope theory applications; creating and sharing goals; homework assignments; modeling behaviors; and identifying facilitators/barriers to goals. Data analyses included paired sample t-test.

Results: Participants (n=7) identified as African American men, gay, unemployed, and interested in employment. Participants attended all sessions. At three-month post intervention, participants reported increased self-efficacy, self-esteem, and hope; lower levels of depression and anxiety; and increased job-seeking skills. 42.9% (n=3) enrolled in college courses, 42.9% (n=3) pursued employment, and 14.4% (n=1) achieved part-time employment. Participants reported increased medication adherence and better communication with health care providers.

Conclusions: Results suggest that the HOPE intervention may be promising in decreasing anxiety and depression; and increasing coping self-efficacy, treatment adherence, self-esteem, job-seeking skills, and employment outcomes. Further research is warranted.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the positive outcomes of employment for persons living with HIV/AIDS. 2. Describe the application of community-based participatory research, social cognitive theory, hope theory, and self-management to develop the HOPE intervention. 3. Articulate the outcomes of the HOPE intervention at three-months post-intervention. 4. Discuss the implications of the HOPE pilot study for PLWHA who want to seek employment/return to work.

Keywords: HIV Interventions, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented nationally and internationally on this topic and have been an author on several publications addressing HIV/AIDS
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.