Although HIV can be well controlled by treatment and not itself cause problems, many people living with HIV are affected by issues like depression, anxiety, stigma, or difficult financial or housing circumstances. Some may be affected by smoking or drug use. These factors can often cause more difficulties than HIV itself, in terms of a person’s wellbeing, and their use of NHS services.
People living with HIV in the UK receive excellent care for their HIV in hospital outpatient clinics, but this type of specialist care does not necessarily help with these additional issues. The NHS plan over the next 10 years is to better support people to manage their own health and improve wellbeing. However, the evidence for this approach in people living with HIV is not clear. Our study will fill this gap.
NICHE aims to see if there is a benefit to providing a more person-centred approach to care. This will involve developing an intervention that will offer one-to-one sessions with a health and wellbeing coach in which a person can discuss their needs, be supported in making positive changes, and get any additional help they might need.
NICHE’s key research questions are, among people living with HIV:
- What are the current needs and key drivers of poor mental health?
- Can an intervention be developed with people living with HIV to improve wellbeing?
- Can the intervention be tested to see if it is acceptable and deliverable in a randomised controlled trial, within the context of HIV care?
- Does the intervention lead to an improvement in health and wellbeing?
- Is the intervention cost effective?
- Can the intervention be adapted for other patient populations with chronic diseases attending secondary care services?