A pilot coping improvement intervention for late middle-aged and older adults living with HIV/AIDS in the USA

T. G. Heckman, A. Kochman, K. J. Sikkema, S. C. Kalichman, J. Masten, J. Bergholte, Sheryl L Catz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


As AIDS becomes more prevalent among late middle-aged and oler adults, mental health support services that facilitate the coping and adjustment efforts of this group are increasingly needed. The current article: (1) outlines a coping improvement group intervention for HIV-infected older adults; and (2) examines the efficacy of the intervention utilizing a small sample (N = 16) of older adults living with HIV/AIDS in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and New York City. The intervention focused on enabling HIV-infected older adults to accurately appraise sources of stress, develop adaptive coping responses and access social support resources to facilitate coping efforts. An evaluation of this pilot intervention, conducted using a pretest-posttest, no control group design, revealed that the intervention increased participants' perceptions of social support, produced higher perceptions of social wellbeing and enabled participants to engage in more planful problem solving, confrontive coping and future optimism. Intervention participants also experienced less stressor burden associated with AIDS-related loss and health concerns. While the current intervention showed potential to facilitate the adjustment efforts of HIV-infected older adults, randomized clinical trials of this intervention with larger samples are needed before its appropriateness for this population can be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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