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The effect of an art psychotherapy intervention on levels of depression and health locus of control orientations experienced by black women living with HIV

  • Journal Title: South African Journal of Psychology
  • Volume: Volume 38
  • Issue:  Issue 3
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 467  - 478
  • Authors:  Wirika Field;  Carine Kruger;
  • ISSN: 00812463
  • Abstract:  In response to a call for HIV treatment agendas to incorporate mental health programmes, we investigated a model of art psychotherapy intervention for the treatment of HIV-related depression. Black women living with HIV are at risk of developing major depression, which negatively affects the physiological course of HIV infection. Since literature indicates a relationship between positive mood and an internal health locus of control (HLOC) orientation and supports the notion that creative expression contributes to positive mood, it was hypothesised that an art psychotherapy intervention would decrease levels of depression and external HLOC orientation in black women living with HIV and that this decrease would be maintained for two weeks after the intervention. To test this hypothesis, an experimental research design was implemented (pre-test, intervention, post-test and post-post-test) where the intervention variable was manipulated for an experimental group and a control group. The Beck Depression Inventory - II (BDI-II) and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLCS) were used as measurement instruments. The sample consisted of 18 black women who attended the same HIV support group in Soshanguve. The experimental group (n = 9) participated in an art psychotherapy intervention, and the control group (n = 9) participated in an entertainment video viewing activity. The two groups were compared with respect to the difference between their pre-test and post-test, as well as the difference between their post-test and post-post-test depression scores and HLOC orientations. Following the intervention, the levels of depression among the participants in the experimental group had decreased significantly. The findings also showed that the decreased Chance HLOC orientation among participants in the experimental group became significant two weeks after the art psychotherapy intervention.
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