Asking the experts: Using cognitive interview techniques to explore the face validity of the mental wellness measure for adolescents living with HIV
Van Wyk, Brian
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There has been an increased focus on the mental health of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV), because evidence shows that poor mental health outcomes are associated with lower rates of adherence and retention in HIV care. However, the research to date has predominantly focused on addressing mental health problems and reducing symptoms of mental illness rather than strengthening mental wellness [positive mental health]. Consequently, little is known about the critical mental wellness indicators that should be targeted in services for ALHIV. There is a need for valid and appropriate measures of mental wellness to drive research and provide evidence on the mental wellness needs of ALHIV that would inform service delivery as well as the monitoring and evaluation of treatment outcomes. To this end, we developed the Mental Wellness Measure for Adolescents Living with HIV (MWM-ALHIV) for ALHIV in the South African context. In this paper, we report on the findings from a cognitive interview study with nine ALHIV aged 15–19 years receiving treatment at a public healthcare facility in the Cape Metropole, South Africa.