Illness appraisals are central to understanding how individuals cope with chronic illness. An interpretive phenomenological approach to the analysis of two years of bimonthly stressful event narratives in a sample of 57 HIV + gay men revealed five groups that differed on how they appraised HIV and one group of individuals who changed from one type of appraisal to another over the course of the 2-year study. The ways of appraising HIV revealed in this analysis have implications for interventions and for the study of coping with HIV as a chronic illness. The repeated assessment of specific HIV-associated stressful events and a qualitative analytic approach allowed for a more in-depth understanding of the meaning of HIV for the participants. This study suggests that coping interventions may be more powerful if they are tailored to individual appraisals of HIV because different forms of coping are likely to be differentially effective depending on the meaning of HIV in the individual's life.
- Chronic illness
- Narrative analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health