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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Investigates Improving Stress Levels among Mothers with HIV

Limited knowledge exists regarding parenting efficacy interventions for mothers living with HIV (MLH). Ms. Erica R. Johnson, graduate student trainee and PhD candidate in the department of epidemiology, and Dr. Mirjam-Colette Kempf, associate professor in the School of Nursing and department of health behavior, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, recently evaluated the impact of a supportive group intervention on lowering parenting stress among MLH. Eighty MLH were randomized to a parenting (N=34) or health focused (control) (N=46) group intervention. Pre- and post-intervention stress levels were assessed using the Parental Stress Index-Short Form (PSI/SF). Differences in PSI/SF scores were examined using the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and predictors of PSI/SF scores were evaluated using multivariable linear regression.


[Photo: Ms. Erica R. Johnson]



[Photo: Dr. Mirjam-Colette Kempf]

Study findings indicate that both groups experienced significant decreases in parenting stress from baseline to post-intervention, with no significant differences between interventions. At baseline, 41 percent of participants were identified as highly stressed and 30 percent as clinically stressed, with PSI/SF scores above the eighty-fifth and ninetieth percentile, respectively. Amongst the highly stressed subpopulation, significant improvements in PSI/SF scores for Parental Distress PSI/SF, Difficult Child PSI/SF, and total PSI/SF were seen, with greater improvements in the parenting intervention. Among the clinically stressed subpopulation, significant improvements in total post-intervention PSI/SF scores were seen, with greater improvements in the parenting intervention.

The results indicate that screening for high levels of stress should be considered in clinical practice to effectively implement stress-reducing interventions among MLH.

“Improving Parental Stress Levels Among Mothers Living with HIV: A Randomized Control Group Intervention Study” was published online in March 2015 in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

Journal article: