Improving women's adjustment to HIV infection: results of the Positive Life Skills Workshop Project

Publication Date


UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Nursing; Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research

Document Type



*Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; *Attitude to Health; Chronic Disease; Female; Focus Groups; HIV Infections; Humans; Massachusetts; Mental Health; Middle Aged; Needs Assessment; Negativism; Nursing Evaluation Research; Nursing Methodology Research; Patient Education as Topic; Power (Psychology); Program Evaluation; Questionnaires; Self Care; Self-Help Groups; Stress, Psychological; *Women


Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing


Women face many challenges as they adjust to life with HIV infection. This report describes the results of a program designed to assist HIV-infected women to reframe negative meanings associated with HIV infection and adjust to HIV infection. The idea for the Positive Life Skills (PLS) workshop emerged from the results of a study of adjustment to chronic illness among HIV-infected women, guided by the cognitive appraisal model of stress and coping. Small-group sessions (6-15 women) met weekly for 10 consecutive weeks to identify and dialogue about personal and group learning needs. Women explored the power of art, science, and alternative therapies as venues for reframing the meaning of HIV in their lives. The workshop participants included 187 HIV-infected women (mean age, 39 years; range, 23-62 years). Responses from the workshop participants over a 6-year time frame suggested that the PLS workshop was effective at increasing antiretroviral adherence, improving mental well-being, and reducing stress.

DOI of Published Version



J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2008 Jan-Feb;19(1):58-65. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID