The implementation and evaluation of a psychological well-being intervention for people living with HIV and AIDS.
The HIV and AIDS epidemic is having a devastating effect on the mental health of people living with HIV and AIDS (PL WHA), who join support groups to receive support and empowerment. However these support groups are often unstructured, sporadically attended and lacking in social cohesion. The purpose of this research was to design, implement and evaluate a psychological well-being intervention for PL WHA. The intervention was based on and measured with an objective psychological well-being scale, which included dimensions of autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, purpose in life, positive relations with others and self-acceptance. Following establishment of experimental and control groups, six-week interventions with weekly sessions were run during which participants took turns to lead group presentations on the improvement of a previously chosen component of psychological well-being. The six week interventions as well as individual sessions were pre and post-tested. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation revealed that participants generally found the psychological well-being intervention meaningful and valuable in its provision of knowledge, learning, understanding and empowerment. Further research with an extended intervention program, regular attendance, larger samples of participants, and comparative evaluations of physical, biological, social and environmental factors is needed in order to more clearly establish the effectiveness of psychological well-being interventions for PLWHA.