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Effects of a Supportive-Expressive Group Intervention on Long-Term Psychosocial Adjustment in HIV-Infected Gay Men

Weiss J.L.a · Mulder C.L.a · Antoni M.H.c · de Vroome E.M.M.b · Garssen B.a · Goodkin K.d
aHelen Dowling Institute for Biopsychosocial Medicine, Utrecht, bNetherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands; cDepartments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Miami, CoralGables,Fla., and dDepartments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Psychology, University of Miami, Miami,Fla., USA Psychother Psychosom 2003;72:132–140 (DOI:10.1159/000069732)


Background: This study compared the effects of a supportive-expressive group intervention (GI) with an educational control condition (EC) on long-term psychosocial adjustment in gay men with HIV infection. Method: Subjects (n = 85) were randomized after stratification for disease stage and use of antiretroviral medication. GI consisted of 4 months of weekly group sessions followed by 5 monthly maintenance sessions plus written educational material, whereas the EC subjects received educational material only. Results: There were no between-group differences in effects on distress, coping or social support in analyses examining 4 time points over 15 months. Both conditions decreased in distress over time on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist and Beck Depression Inventory. Conclusions: Several explanations are offered for the reason why no additional benefit of the GI was found on outcome measures studied when compared with the EC condition and recommendations are made for future psychosocial intervention research with HIV-infected persons.


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