Discovery of meaning and adherence to medications in HIV-infected women

Erika Westling, Kelli Garcia, Traci Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Discovery of meaning in response to illness has been linked to positive health outcomes. The mechanisms through which this occurs are unknown. This study tests a previously unexamined mechanism, engagement in healthier behaviors, which has been left uncontrolled in most studies. Forty-one HIV-infected women completed a one-month writing intervention. This writing was coded for signs of discovery of meaning. Adherence to medications was measured before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) the intervention. Women whose writing indicated that they had discovered meaning showed significantly greater adherence to their medical regimens at Time 2, controlling for Time 1 adherence. Discovery of meaning may result in positive health outcomes by leading individuals to engage in healthier behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Discovery of meaning
  • HIV
  • Patient adherence


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