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Title: Exploring child HIV testing decisions in mothers with HIV
Author: Stamatelatou, Anastasia
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has received considerable attention since the 1980's. Since then worldwide attempts have been made to combat the transmission and progression of the virus. Among children, mother-to-child transmission is the most common source of infection. Current guidelines emphasize the importance of HIV testing of at-risk children to reduce mortality and morbidity. Evidence suggests the presence of barriers that may affect mothers' decision to test their children. To date, there has been no research looking at the experiences of HIV-positive mothers or the factors that influence their decision. This study aims to explore the decision-making process of HIV -positive mothers in relation to testing their children born prior to their own diagnosis. It assesses how maternal experiences affect child testing and which factors differentiate the decision-making process among mothers who delayed versus those who did not delay their decision to test their children. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted and Grounded Theory was used. A model of the maternal decision-making process is proposed, comprised of five theoretical codes: Fearing about own and child's future; Facing barriers about child testing; Feeling more confident in child testing; Developing an understanding of child testing; Protecting the child. The model starts with maternal diagnosis and progresses through to child testing. It maps the key stages of the process; mothers experience anxiety in relation to child testing; they assess the associated risks and benefits. Some doubt the likelihood of their children having HIV and are influenced by social norms. Eventually the need to know their children's status and increased confidence in child testing motivate them to have their children tested. The findings provide evidence to inform current guidance and clinical practice, stressing the Importance of the provision of accurate information about HIV aiming to reinforce mothers' self-efficacy about child testing. The strengths and limitations of the findings are outlined. Clinical and theoretical implications, as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available