Reaction phases following HIV positive diagnosis
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Arch Psych Psych 2005;7(1):63-69
Aim: The subject of the article is the process of coping with the awareness of being HIV positive and defining the phases of reaction. A patient's psychic state is subject to many changes connected with the specific character of a given somatic illness. Most commonly an illness and its after-effects are burdensome circumstances for a patient and they cause disturbances in many areas of life,. The emotions connected with an illness are usually negative and intense. Method: The study group consisted of HIV positive patients. They had known about their diagnosis for a period of three to sixteen months. Using the results of the Appraisal of Phases of Reaction Questionnaire they were allocated to specific phases. Results: Three percent were in the shock phase and twelve percent in the reaction phase. Sixty five percent could be described as being in an adaptation phase. Twenty percent had moved to a phase of transformed setf-experience, where they were able to take a different view of their lives. Conclusion: Apart from the cognitive Value of encountering the complexity and dynamics of reactions to being HIV positive the findings may also be applied in beginning to alleviate patients' emotional discomfort.
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