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Stress, Coping and the Acceptability of Mindfulness Skills among Pregnant and Parenting Women Living with HIV in the United States: A Focus Group Study

Waldron EM, Miller ES, Wee V, Statton A, Moskowitz JT, Burnett-Zeigler I.

Health & Social Care in the Community

Pregnant and parenting women living with HIV (WLWH) face high levels of psychological stress and mental illness but lack tailored and acceptable psychosocial treatments. The research team sought to inform the adaptation of a mindfulness intervention for pregnant and parenting WLWH through focus groups exploring psychosocial treatment needs and mindfulness intervention preferences. The research team conducted focus groups with pregnant and parenting WLWH (n = 16) and case managers (n = 6) recruited from a community-based enhanced case management program. The research team utilised an iterative inductive approach to coding of the transcripts from these focus groups. Five themes emerged: stressors, signs of stress, coping, lack of access and acceptability of care, and motivation and trust in care engagement. These focus groups revealed a desire for a group intervention that could decrease isolation while protecting against involuntary disclosure of HIV status. Participants expressed openness to mindfulness skills for coping with stress. The focus group participants' preference for a non-stigmatising group intervention supports the potential of a mindfulness-based group intervention to reduce stress and improve the mental health of pregnant and parenting women living with HIV.

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