Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 27–38 | Cite as

A telephone-delivered coping improvement group intervention for middle-aged and older adults living with HIV/AIDS

  • Timothy G. Heckman
  • Robert Barcikowski
  • Benjamin Ogles
  • Julie Suhr
  • Bruce Carlson
  • Kenneth Holroyd
  • John Garske


Background: By 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that 50% of all cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States will be in persons 50 years of age or older.Purpose: This pilot research tested whether a 12-session, coping improvement group intervention delivered via teleconference technology could improve life quality in 90 middle-age and older adults living with HIV/AIDS.Method: This research used a lagged-treatment control group design. Forty-four HIV-infected persons 50-plus years of age participated in a coping improvement group intervention immediately after study enrollment, whereas 46 individuals received the intervention after their time-matched immediate treatment participants completed the intervention. Participants completed self-administered surveys that assessed depressive and psychological symptoms, life-stressor burden, ways of coping, coping self-efficacy, and loneliness.Results: Outcome analyses indicated that, compared to their delayed treatment counterparts, immediate treatment participants reported fewer psychological symptoms, lower levels of life-stressor burden, increased coping self-efficacy, and less frequent use of avoidance coping. After receiving the intervention, delayed treatment participants reported greater coping self-efficacy and less psychological symptomatology, lifestressor burden, and loneliness. However, the intervention demonstrated little ability to reduce depressive symptoms in this sample of HIV-infected older adults diagnosed with depression.Conclusions: Although findings from this research suggest that telephone-delivered, coping improvement group interventions have potential to facilitate the adjustment efforts of HIV-infected older adults, more rigorous evaluations of this intervention modality for this group are needed.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Psychological Symptom Behavioral Medicine Treatment Participant 
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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy G. Heckman
    • 1
  • Robert Barcikowski
    • 2
  • Benjamin Ogles
    • 3
  • Julie Suhr
    • 3
  • Bruce Carlson
    • 3
  • Kenneth Holroyd
    • 3
  • John Garske
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOhio UniversityAthens
  2. 2.Department of Educational ResearchOhio UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyOhio UniversityUSA

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