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Uncertainty and 'technological horizon' in qualitative interviews about HIV treatment

[journal article]

Davis, Mark; Frankis, Jamie; Flowers, Paul

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Abstract Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART) has reduced death and morbidity among people with HIV. However, HAART is not always effective, can produce serious side-effects and implies uncertainty for patients. To address HAART-related uncertainty, 20 qualitative interviews were conducted with gay men with HIV in Glasgow and London. The interviewees were purposively selected to reflect diversity in terms of year of diagnosis, experiences of illness and treatment-related side-effects. The interviews were analysed using the constant comparison method to derive themes. Among those using HAART, analysis identified themes of 'good health', 'illness' and 'loss of confidence'. Uncertainty was managed through a discourse of 'technological horizon' that combined the ongoing innovations of HAART and biographical time. These themes are discussed in terms of the implications for HIV care. In particular, technological horizon provides a basis for the management of uncertainty in the prescribing relationship between patient and clinician.
Classification Health Policy; Medicine, Social Medicine
Free Keywords gay men; HIV treatment; innovative health technologies; qualitative research; uncertainty
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 323-344
Journal Health, 10 (2006) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)