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The Effectiveness of a Meaning-Centred Intervention in Protecting the Well-Being HIV/AIDS Health Educators

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Abstract

This study investigated whether teaching HIV/AIDS Health Educators about Viktor Frankl’s theory of finding meaning in life, results in a significant improvement in their psychological well-being. The participants were 24 volunteers from the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) cluster of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in South Africa (age range = 20–39 years, females = 67 %, majority ethnicity = 58 % Sotho speaking). The study was both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data was collected using Purpose in Life Test (PIL) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-IA). In addition, qualitative data was collected on the participants’ subjective experience of development in creative potential. A one group pretest–posttest design was employed. The quantitative data was analysed using a non-parametric test procedure for small sample size designs. The qualitative data was analysed by means of themes. The researcher discovered that a sense of meaning intervention seems to result in significant improvement in levels of meaning, and a decrease in depressive symptoms among participants. Consequently, the findings indicate that it is possible to support front line health workers in their search for meaning by means of a meaning-centred intervention, and that this helps to alleviate depressive symptoms. Similarly, meaning-centred intervention seems to be a promising intervention for instilling resilience amongst front line health workers, who provide a valuable voluntary service in the community. Participants indicated they could apply the theory to their personal lives. More importantly, they would use the skills they have acquired in their duties.

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Correspondence to Solomon Makola.

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Makola, S. The Effectiveness of a Meaning-Centred Intervention in Protecting the Well-Being HIV/AIDS Health Educators. Syst Pract Action Res 28, 37–49 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11213-014-9321-4

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Keywords

  • Meaning-Centred Intervention
  • HIV/AIDS Health Educators
  • Depressive Symptoms
  • Creative Values
  • Experiential Values
  • Attitudinal Values