Formative Study to Develop the Eban Treatment and Comparison Interventions for Couples

Wu, Elwin; Witte, Susan S.; El-Bassel, Nabila; Gilbert, Louisa; NIMH Multisite HIV/STD Prevention Trial for African American Couples Group

Objective: To describe formative and pilot-testing research that generated themes and procedures, curricula, and critical measures for a randomized clinical trial testing a Risk Reduction Intervention for HIV-serodiscordant African American couples (Project Eban). Design: This paper describes the themes that emerged from discussions with African American serodiscordant couples about HIV-related risks from focus groups with 11 couples and pilot study results with 32 couples across four sites. Methods: In Step 1, focus groups examined the need for a Risk Reduction Intervention for HIV-serodiscordant African American couples and confirmed four themes that formed the basis for the intervention curriculum and study format. In Step 2, a pilot study refined the clinical trial procedures for this population and tested critical measures and selected portions of the curriculum for both the treatment and comparison interventions. Results: Based on these findings, stigma and psychological distress, barriers to condom use, insufficient support from community and service organizations, and the lack of skills that emphasize individual and relationship protection were ultimately integrated into the Risk Reduction Intervention. Conclusion: Pilot study findings highlighted the importance of examining gender and ethnicity in HIV- impacted couples along with factors that heightened HIV-related risk behaviors that affect couples’ skills and psychological adjustment. The goal was to ensure that a skill-based, culturally congruent, relationship-centered intervention could be understood and of interest to couples. Future analyses in the main trial will be discussed.


Also Published In

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes

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Social Work
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July 30, 2012