Psychosocial factors that impact maintaining health and wellbeing in women over 50 years living with HIV: a systematic review

Charlie Hughes1 and Dr Michelle Croston2
1HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist, Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, UK
2Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Abstract
Background: Women now carry half the burden of the HIV epidemic worldwide, and even more in certain developing countries. This study aimed to determine psychosocial factors impacting on the health and wellbeing of ageing women living with HIV
Method: Systematic literature review focusing on qualitative research method articles using interviews and focus groups of women aged >50 years and living with HIV. International literature in the English language was included.
Findings: A total of 11 studies in 15 articles were included in the review. The majority were conducted in the US, three in Canada and one in the UK, published 1998–2015.
Results: Overall eight key themes emerged from the review. The themes were grouped into those influenced by extrinsic factors and those influenced by intrinsic factors. Extrinsic themes: stigma and secrets, support, daily struggles and being a mother/grandmother. Intrinsic themes: loneliness and uncertainty, self-care, religion and spirituality, and self-acceptance and adjustment.
Conclusion: This review revealed women living with HIV aged >50 years have eight psychosocial factors that impact on their ability to maintain health and wellbeing and that their HIV condition changed the dimensions to the majority being HIV specific.

Keywords: HIV, women, psychosocial, wellbeing, older women