, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 453-464

The use of life review to enhance quality of life of people living with AIDS: A feasibility study

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People living with AIDS (PLWA) are confronted with uncertainty and their own mortality at an earlier than expected age. Life review, an intervention that has the potential to increase life satisfaction in the elderly experiencing transition points in their lives, may have a similar effect when used with PLWA. Therefore, the purpose of this feasibility study was to explore the use of life review in a sample of 20 PLWA through a randomized controlled trial of its effectiveness in decreasing depressive symptoms and in increasing self esteem, quality of life, and purpose in life. Compared to the control group, the treatment group had an improved overall quality of life and self-esteem over 12 months, less depressive symptoms over 12 months, and a greater purpose in life at 3 months. The effects that were seen were mainly small to medium effects. The findings from this feasibility study suggest the potential value of life review to enhance quality of life, purpose in life, and self-esteem, and to decrease depressive symptoms in PLWA. Further research is needed with a larger sample and with other groups such as PLWA experiencing virologic failure.