April 11, 2014
This article was reported by AIDSMEDS.
AIDSMEDS reported on a study to determine the effects of perceived pressure, perceived efficacy, and fear and anxiety on retaining young people in HIV prevention interventions. The researchers evaluated the 386 young adults ages 18-35 participating in a multi-session HIV prevention intervention in Duval County, Florida.
The researchers found that when the youth perceived pressure or coercion to change their lifestyle or behaviors during the intervention, they reacted defensively and were less likely to attend follow-up sessions. This was particularly noticeable among younger participants ages 18-22. Also, if they did not find the first session effective or pertinent to their life situations, then younger participants were less likely to return.
The researchers concluded that findings suggest practitioners should try to ensure that young participants do not feel coerced, as that type of approach can cause a loss of interest. The researchers advised practitioners to focus on the efficacy of the intervention and to promote its relevance to participants using tailored information about HIV risk and using a personalized manner. There was no association between fear of HIV and continued participation in the intervention.
The full report, "Motivational Barriers to Retention of At-Risk Young Adults in HIV-Prevention Interventions: Perceived Pressure and Efficacy," was published online in the journal AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV (2014; doi:10.1080/09540121.2014.896450).