May 31, 2011
Among a population of patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in British Columbia, the current research evaluated how neighborhood perceptions are influenced by socio-economic factors including food security and stable housing. "Understanding the neighborhood perceptions of individuals living with HIV in urban and nonurban areas may help identify potential barriers to uptake and effectiveness of therapy," the authors wrote.
An interviewer-administered survey was used to document patients' neighborhood perceptions, quality of life, and socio-demographic data. Previously defined scales were used to evaluate perceptions of neighborhood problems, neighborhood cohesion, and relative standard of living. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were applied to identify associations with neighborhood perceptions, food security and stable housing.
The analyses were based on 457 participants, of whom 133 (29 percent) were food secure and 297 (65 percent) had stable housing. The mean scores for perceptions of neighborhood problems and cohesion were 35 (IQR 15-58) and 57 (IQR 46-69), respectively.
"Being food secure and having stable housing was associated with a 9 percent and 11 percent decrease in perception of neighborhood problems, respectively, and a 6 percent increase in the perception of neighborhood cohesion in both cases," the authors concluded. "Food security and stable housing are related to neighborhood perceptions among individuals on HAART. The results point to potential targets for intervention, involving improvements to living conditions such as housing and food security, which may promote treatment success for HAART, especially in marginalized communities."