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Home > An assessment of the levels of perceived social support among older adults living with HIV and AIDS in Dublin.

Okonkwo, Nelson Obiora and Larkan, Fiona and Galligan, Marie (2016) An assessment of the levels of perceived social support among older adults living with HIV and AIDS in Dublin. SpringerPlus , 5 , (1) , p. 726.

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC49096...

OBJECTIVES: To determine the level of perceived social support among older adults living with HIV and AIDS in Dublin.

METHODS: The study utilized a cross-sectional survey design to collect data from 46 adults aged 50 years or older who are members of open heart house (OHH) in Ireland, a peer support network for people living with HIV and AIDS. Participants completed a set of interviewer-assisted questionnaires, which included the multidimensional measure of perceived social support (PSS) to assess the level of social support.

RESULTS: Levels of PSS among participants were observed as follows: 54 % had low PSS, 33 % had a moderate PSS and 13 % had high PSS. A fifth of the study participants had a history of injection drug use (IDU) and this group reported higher PSS scores in general than non-IDU's (H = 79.500, Z = -2.678, p = 0.006). PSS scores were observed to be higher in general among participants with longer duration of infection [H(2) = 7.856, p = 0.020].

CONCLUSION: Despite its limitations, this study provides vital information about the level of social support among older people living with HIV and AIDS at OHH Dublin. An unexpected but interesting finding was the positive relationship between IDU and PSS level. Formulation of strategies to enable older PLHA to be more proactive members of their community through a peer support network sponsored volunteer services should be encouraged.


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