Strategies for self-management of HIV-related anxiety

J. Kemppainen, L. S. Eller, E. Bunch, M. J. Hamilton, P. Dole, W. Holzemer, K. Kirksey, P. K. Nicholas, I. B. Corless, C. Coleman, K. M. Nokes, N. Reynolds, L. Sefcik, D. Wantland, Y. F. Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the frequency and effectiveness of commonly used strategies for self management of anxiety in an international sample of 502 participants from Norway ( n =42, 8%), Taiwan ( n =35, 7%), and the US ( n =426, 85%). An activities checklist summarized into five categories of self-care behaviours including activities/thoughts, exercise, medications, complementary therapies, and substance use determined self-care behaviours. Ratings of frequency and effectiveness for each self-care activity were also included. Praying received the highest overall rating of effectiveness of any self-management strategies included in this study at 8.10 (scale 1 to 10), followed by meditation (7.37), exercising (7.32), using relaxation techniques (7.22), cooking (6.98), and walking (6.90). An analysis of effectiveness scores for each self-care strategy by country reflected a wide variation. The three most effective anxiety self-care strategies reported by participants from Norway included exercise (7.31), walking (6.96), and reading (6.44). Highest ratings of effectiveness by participants from Taiwan included talking with others with HIV (6.0), attending support groups (6.0), and exercising (6.0). US participants allocated highest ratings of effectiveness to complementary/alternative therapies, including praying (8.10), meditating (7.43), and using relaxation techniques (7.35). Regardless of the country, watching television and talking with family and friends were the two most frequently reported strategies. These strategies for self-management of HIV-related anxiety are important for clinicians to be aware of in the care of persons with HIV/AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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