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Psychological factors turn young adults away from HIV intervention counseling
Date:3/31/2014

-prevention counselors to change their lifestyle and behaviors, they often become defensive and are less likely to return to recommended follow-up counseling sessions. This is especially the case with younger (18-22 years old) intervention recipients. Moreover, intervention program retention rates are also lower when participants view the initial intervention as ineffective or irrelevant to their life.

"Our findings suggest that practitioners make efforts to ensure younger clients in particular do not feel coerced, because such threats to autonomy can backfire," wrote the authors. "Practitioners should also make efforts to explicitly communicate the efficacy of the intervention and to foster a sense of self-relevance [perhaps by] delivering tailored information about HIV risk in a personalized manner."

The study also looked at the effect of HIV-related fear on retention rates and found no significant association. However, it did find an association between retention rates and both gender and age: Male clients and older clients were more likely to return for follow-up sessions than female clients and younger clients.

"It is important that practitioners understand the psychological factors that can turn clients away from interventions, and for whom these factors are especially likely to matter," concluded the authors. "In this way, effective tailoring of interventions can be grounded in the collective experiences of successes and failures in retaining members of at-risk populations."


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Contact: Joseph J. Diorio
jdiorio@asc.upenn.edu
215-746-1798
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
Source:Eurekalert

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