Qualitative study of the quality of sleep in marginalized individuals living with HIV

Published: June 14, 2013

Abstract.

Sleep disturbances have been reported to be higher in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals compared to the general population. Despite the consequences of poor quality of sleep (QOS), research regarding sleep disturbances in HIV infection is lacking and many questions regarding correlates of poor QOS, especially in marginalized populations, remain unanswered. We conducted one-on-one qualitative interviews with 14 marginalized HIV-infected individuals who reported poor QOS to examine self-reported correlates of sleep quality and explore the relationship between QOS and antiretroviral adherence. Findings suggest a complex and multidimensional impact of mental health issues, structural factors, and physical conditions on QOS of these individuals. Those reporting poor QOS as a barrier to antiretroviral adherence reported lower adherence due to falling asleep or feeling too tired to take medications in comparison to those who did not express this adherence barrier. These interviews underscore the importance of inquiries into a patient’s QOS as an opportunity to discuss topics such as adherence, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance use.

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