People living with HIV (PLWH) are profoundly affected by HIV-related stigma, especially when negative health outcomes are experienced as a result of such bias in a healthcare setting. In a recent study, Mrs. Samantha Whitfield, program manager in the department of health care organization and policy, and lead author Dr. D. Scott Batey, assistant professor in the department of social work, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham collaborated on assessing the viability and acceptability of the Finding Respect and Ending Stigma around HIV (FRESH) Workshop among American PLWH and healthcare workers (HW). Adapted from an intervention originally developed in Africa, FRESH’s overall goal is to reduce the negative impact of stigma in order to encourage greater HIV testing and participation in HIV care.
[Photo: Dr. D. Scott Batey]
[Photo: Mrs. Samantha Whitfield]
In two pilot workshops—comprised of 17 HW and 19 PLWH—prior to and following each attended event, participants were asked to complete questionnaires, which employed such analytical methods as t-tests and qualitative content analysis, in addition to being asked for open-ended feedback. Results indicated a workshop rating of “excellent” among 87 percent of PLWH and 89 percent of HW. Further, the completed questionnaires revealed that “content analysis of open-ended items revealed that participants considered the workshop informative, interactive, well-organized, understandable, fun, and inclusive, while addressing real and prevalent issues. Most pre- and post-test measures had good–excellent internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alphas ranging from 0.70 to 0.96) and, although sample sizes were small, positive trends were observed, reaching statistical significance for increased awareness of stigma in the health facility among HW (p = 0.047) and decreased uncertainty about HIV treatment among PLWH (p = 0.017).”
Analyzing participants’ expressed acceptability to the workshop, the researchers concluded that FRESH shows promising potential for reducing HIV-related stigma within U.S. healthcare settings.
“We were very pleased to get such good feedback from both groups of participants in the workshops. We’ve been working for a while on a grant to be able to offer the workshops to several other organizations offering care and services to PLWH,” says Mrs. Whitfield.
UAB co-investigators are Ms. Kristi L. Stringer, doctoral student in the department of sociology; Ms. Modupeoluwa Durojaiye, doctoral student; Dr. Lisa McCormick, associate professor; and Dr. Janet M. Turan, professor, in the department of health care organization and policy; Dr. Bulent Turan, assistant professor in the department of psychology; and Dr. Mirjam-Colette Kempf, professor in the department of health behavior.
“Adaptation and Implementation of an Intervention to Reduce HIV-Related Stigma Among Healthcare Workers in the United States: Piloting of the FRESH Workshop” was published in November 2016 in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
Journal article: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/apc.2016.0223