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Title: Developing a model of living with HIV in individuals with personality-related difficulties
Author: Larsson, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 8860
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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HIV can be a demanding illness to live with and often represents a burden for people living with the illness (Remien et al., 2006). Stressors include ART adherence and potential side-effects, symptoms associated with illness progression, as well as adjustment and acceptance of living with a serious illness (Moskowitz & Wrubel, 2005). Other stressors include HIV disclosure, managing safe sex, as well as managing on-going relationships with HIV services. The ability to adjust and cope with the stressors associated with a HIV diagnosis is vital as poor adjustment can have detrimental effects on the individual's mental health and the progression of HIV (e.g. Bottonari, Roberts, Ciesla, & Hewitt, 2005; Remor et al., 2007). According to Moss-Morris' model of adjustment, personality traits are key processes in how individuals adjust to a chronic illness (Moss-Morris, 2013). As personality-related difficulties may increase one's risk of contracting HIV (e.g. Hutton & Treisman, 2008), it can be hypothesised that there is a high prevalence of personality disorders (PDs) in individuals living with HIV. PD is a way of understanding individuals whose personality seriously impacts on either their own lives or those of others in an unhelpful way. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), PDs are defined as "an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectation of the individual's culture". The pattern must be pervasive, inflexible, have an onset in adolescence or early adulthood and cause significant distress or impairment (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The elevated risk of contracting HIV when living with PD has already been established, but the effect of PD when living with HIV is less researched. Despite the common comorbidity, and the potentially severe consequences and outcomes, there is very limited literature on personality-related difficulties and wellbeing in HIV. To my knowledge, there have been no first-hand accounts of what it is like to live with HIV in individuals with personality-related difficulties. Understanding the impact of personality-related difficulties in people living with HIV is important to better support this population, as we will better understand the challenges they are faced with. The empirical article explored the impact of personality-related difficulties in people living with HIV.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available