Health: Science, Society, and Policy
Mentor: Dr. Karen Van Gundy, Department of Sociology
Community-based vs. Hospital-based programs for HIV/AIDS Patients and Client Satisfaction
Current evolutions in biomedicine and pharmaceuticals have allowed those who have HIV/AIDS to live longer lives and have improved the overall quality of life of many HIV-positive/AIDS patients. With more and more people living with HIV/AIDS treatment programs also need to evolve to deliver care to patients. The aim of the project is to do research on HIV/AIDS treatment programs through comparing and contrasting larger government or private institutional health care programs to community based programs that focus on delivering care to HIV/AIDS patients. This research project will take place in Boston, Massachusetts. As of July 2003, the city of Boston has seven hundred and ten people per one hundred thousand living with HIV/AIDS. The majority of those people turn to community, government or private health care programs to receive treatment. How patients view their quality of care and how health care providers view their role in that care process has many implications for the overall health care system that each participates in. One goal of the project is to find out how HIV/AIDS patients view their quality of care, and how care givers view the care they provide for HIV/AIDS patients. The sample for this study will come from a population of HIV/AIDS patients who utilize services from a community, government, or private institutional treatment program, physicians, and other caregivers who are involved in each program. Data for the study will come from surveys and mini-ethnographies of the patients and others related to the care giving process, mainly program directors and physicians. The main hypothesis of the study is that HIV/AIDS patients who participate in community based treatment programs will self-rate their level of care and satisfaction with the care they receive at a higher level than will HIV/AIDS patients who utilize larger government or private institutional treatment programs.