“She makes me feel that I'm not alone”: Linkage to Care Specialists provide social support to people living with HIV
Methods: Sixteen clients from the pilot phase of the intervention were interviewed about services Specialists provided, program successes, and experiences with barriers to medical care. Data were coded for key themes using MaxQDA software.
Results: Participants’ relationships with their Specialists emerged as a major unifying theme. Comfortable and close relationships with Specialists served as motivation to adhere to medical care, mitigated negative feelings associated with HIV-related stigma, and resulted in increased comfort with medical care and positive health outcomes. Specialists provided several types of social support, including affirmation and encouragement, empathetic companionship, and provision of information, referrals, and coordination of direct services.
Conclusions: Initial positive effects demonstrated by LTCSs are balanced against the costs of small caseloads in comparison with traditional case management. Future research should examine cost-effectiveness of brief intensive case management, screening options for intensive case management, and personalization of health care and other psychosocial services delivery systems.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Describe preliminary qualitative evaluation of the successes of Wisconsin's Linkage to Care Program for high-risk people living with HIV.
Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Chronic Disease Management and Care
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am conducting the qualitative evaluation of the Linkage to Care intervention described in this abstract, and have been conducting research into HIV prevention and care for several years.
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.