Quality of Life Research

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 991–1005 | Cite as

Improvements in health-related quality of life following a group intervention for coping with AIDS-bereavement among HIV-infected men and women

  • Kathleen J. SikkemaEmail author
  • Nathan B. Hansen
  • Christina S. Meade
  • Arlene Kochman
  • Rachel S. Lee


Background: AIDS-related bereavement is a severe life stressor that may be particularly distressing to persons themselves infected with HIV. Increasing evidence suggests that psychological health is associated with disease progression, HIV-related symptoms, and mortality. Purpose: This study assessed change in health-related quality of life among HIV+ persons following a group intervention for coping with AIDS-related loss. Methods: The sample included 235 HIV+ men and women of diverse ethnicities and sexual orientations who had experienced an AIDS-related loss within the previous 2 years. Participants were randomly assigned to a 12-week cognitive-behavioral bereavement coping group intervention or offered individual psychotherapy upon request. Quality of life was assessed at baseline and 2 weeks after the intervention. Results: Participants in the group intervention demonstrated improvements in general health-related and HIV-specific quality of life, while those in the comparison remained the same or deteriorated. Effect sizes indicated that the majority of change occurred in women. Conclusion: This bereavement group aimed at improving coping with grief also had a positive impact on health-related quality of life among HIV+ men and women, and suggests that cognitive-behavioral interventions may have a broad impact on both emotional and physical health.


Bereavement Coping Group intervention HIV/AIDS Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nathan B. Hansen
    • 1
  • Christina S. Meade
    • 2
  • Arlene Kochman
    • 1
  • Rachel S. Lee
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Prevention and Community Research, The Consultation Center, Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew York
  3. 3.Beth Israel Medical CenterNew York

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