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AIDS Care. 2019 Jan 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2018.1488031. [Epub ahead of print]

Exploring social ecological pathways from resilience to quality of life among women living with HIV in Canada.

Author information

1
a Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work , University of Toronto , Toronto , ON , Canada.
2
b Women's College Research Institute , Women's College Hospital , Toronto , ON , Canada.
3
c Faculty of Health Sciences , Simon Fraser University , Vancouver , BC , Canada.
4
d Department of Family Medicine , McGill University , Montreal , QC , Canada.
5
e Chronic Viral Illness Service , McGill University Health Centre , Montreal , QC , Canada.
6
f Department of Medicine , University of Toronto , Toronto , ON , Canada.
7
g Dalla Lana School of Public Health , University of Toronto , Toronto , ON , Canada.

Abstract

Resilience, positive growth in contexts of stress and adversity, is shaped by social ecological factors. Among people living with HIV, resilience is associated with myriad positive health benefits and improved health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). Identifying contextual factors associated with resilience among women living with HIV (WLWH) is particularly important as this population experiences many stressors and inequalities. We examined social-ecological factors associated with resilience and its relationship with HR-QoL among WLWH. We utilized baseline survey data from a national cohort of WLWH (n = 1424) in Canada. We conducted structural equation modelling using maximum likelihood estimation methods to test the direct effects of social support and women-centred HIV care (WCHC) on resilience, and the direct effects of resilience on mental and physical HR-QoL. We also tested the indirect effects of resilience on HR-QoL via HIV disclosure concerns and economic insecurity. Participant median age was 43 years (IQR = 35-50); most participants were women of colour (29% Black; 22% Indigenous; 7% other ethnicities; 41% Caucasian). Social support and WCHC were associated with increased resilience. The direct path from resilience to mental HR-QoL was significant, accounting for the mediation effects of economic insecurity and social support. The direct path from resilience to physical HR-QoL was significant, accounting for the mediation effects of economic insecurity. Economic insecurity partially mediated the relationship between resilience and mental HR-QoL and physical HR-QoL. HIV disclosure concerns partially mediated the relationship between resilience and mental-HR-QoL. Model fit indices suggested that the model fit the data well (χ2[14] = 160.378, P < 0.001; CFI = 0.987; RMSE = 0.048 [90% CI:0.042-0.080]; SRMR = 0.036). Findings suggest social (social support) and structural (WCHC) factors increase resilience. While resilience is associated with improved HR-QoL, social (HIV disclosure concerns) and structural (economic insecurity) factors partially mediate these associations and threaten HR-QoL. Multi-level interventions can address social ecological contexts to advance resilience and HR-QoL among WLWH.

KEYWORDS:

HIV; Resilience; social support; stigma; women

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