AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 1238–1242 | Cite as

Urban Farming: A Non-Traditional Intervention for HIV-Related Distress

  • Enbal ShachamEmail author
  • Michael F. Donovan
  • Shannon Connolly
  • Andrea Mayrose
  • Mary Scheuermann
  • E. Turner Overton
Brief Report


As individuals with HIV are living longer with less morbidity, developing interventions that address co-morbidities are essential. Psychological distress symptoms fluctuate throughout HIV infection and interrupt self-care practices. This pilot study was conducted to test the implementation of a clinic-recruited sample to participate in a community-based urban farming intervention, and assess the efficacy of reducing psychological distress symptoms. While the changes were not statistically significant, participants reported less distress symptoms, improved overall general health, and reduced frequency of illicit drug use. These findings support the development of a larger scale study to examine the impact of this nontraditional intervention.


HIV/AIDS Depression Psychological distress Urban farming Unemployment Community gardening 


Como los individuos infectados por el VIH están viviendo más con menos morbosidad, es esencial formar intervenciones que se centra en co-morbosidades. Los síntomas de angustia psicológica fluctúan por toda la infección de VIH y interrumpen las practicas del cuidado de sí mismo. Este estudio piloto fue realizado para probar la implementación de una muestra reclutada por clínicas para participar en una intervención urbana agricultura organizada por la comunidad, y evalúa la eficacia de reducir los síntomas de angustia psicológica. Aunque, los resultados no fueron estadísticamente significativos, los participantes informaron menos síntomas de angustia, reducción de consumo de drogas, y mejor salud en general. Estas conclusiones apoyan el progreso de estudio en gran escala, para examinar el impacto de esta intervención que no es tradicional.



This publication was partially supported by Grant Number UL1 RR024992 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of NCRR or NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enbal Shacham
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael F. Donovan
    • 2
  • Shannon Connolly
    • 3
  • Andrea Mayrose
    • 4
  • Mary Scheuermann
    • 3
  • E. Turner Overton
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, School of Public HealthSaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Washington University School of Social WorkSt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.Gateway Greening, Inc.St. LouisUSA
  5. 5.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineUniversity of AlabamaBirminghamUSA

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