A controlled study of services to enhance productive participation among people with HIV/AIDS

Authors: Killackey, E., Jackson, H. J., & McGorry, P. D.
Year Published 2008
Publication American Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume 62
Number 1
Pages 36-45
Publisher American Occupational Therapy Association

With improved treatment options, more individuals with HIV/AIDS are surviving longer and returning to productivity. Few studies have examined interventions that improve employment outcomes for HIV/AIDS survivors.


This study assessed the effectiveness of a model program designed to increase productive participation among people living with HIV/AIDS within supportive-living facilities. The model program is entitled Enabling Self-Determination (ESD).


This study was implemented in four supportive living units in metropolitan Chicago, IL. These units exclusively serve individuals with HIV/AIDS.


The study sample consisted of 65 individuals with HIV/AIDS who were randomly assigned to the intervention group or a standard care group. The study group was predominantly male (82%) and African-American (71%).

Data Collection

Demographic and impairment data were collected at baseline. Information on engagement in productive activities (either employment, education, or volunteering) was collected at three, six, and nine months following completion of the ESD or standard treatment.

Data analysis consisted of first comparing the two groups to determine if they differed on baseline variables. Then, chi-square analyses were used to compare employment status at the three, six, and nine-month checkpoints.


A non-randomized two-group design was used. This design was used because having both intervention and control conditions in the same residence would have contaminated the study. Two residences served as the intervention settings, and the other two as standard treatment settings.


No significant differences were found between the two groups. Of the original 65 participants, employment outcome data could be obtained for 46. Attrition rates were not significantly different for the two groups. Participants in the ESD group were significantly more likely to be employed at each of the three checkpoints. Employment rates for the ESD group were more than double those of the standard treatment group.


The findings of this study support the efficacy of the ESD model for individuals with HIV/AIDS, and that the benefits can be sustained over time. Replication of the ESD model with larger study groups and other populations would more fully evaluate the efficacy of the model.

URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18254429
Populations Male & Female | Hispanic or Latino | Black / African American | White / Caucasian
Outcomes Employment acquisition
NIDILRR Funded Not Reported
Research Design Quasi-experimental
Peer Reviewed Yes