A stress management intervention for adults living with HIV in Nigerian community settings: An effects study

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Background:This study evaluated the effectiveness of a group-based cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention among community-dwelling adults living with HIV in Southeastern Nigeria.Method:A total of 28 HIV-positive adults meeting the criteria for high perceived stress, anxiety, and depression were randomized into 1 of 2 groups: treatment group (n = 14); and no-treatment control group (n = 14). Stress level was measured using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10). Depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Secondary outcome measure was Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The intervention was delivered over the course of 10 weeks, using an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral stress management manual. We employed repeated-measures between and within-subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Eta squared in the analyses and interpretation of data collected from the study participants at 3 time points.Results:Our results showed that, after benefitting from the cognitive behavioral stress management intervention, the PSS-10 and HADS scores were lowered significantly in the treatment group participants than those in the no-treatment control group during evaluations of post-treatment and 3 months follow-up outcomes. Significant improvements were also recorded in the treatment group participants’ SWLS scores at post-treatment and follow-up compared with participants in the no-treatment group.Conclusion:The present results suggest the need for further implementation of group-based cognitive-behavioral stress management interventions for people living with HIV. Cognitive-behavioral stress management clinicians should make efforts toward identifying HIV-positive adults experiencing psychological distress and design cognitive-behavioral stress management interventions in order to better assist them.

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