HIV and Antiretroviral Therapy

Rouleau et al. (2019) conducted a qualitative study on the nursing practice in support of people living with HIV (PLWH) and their adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). A total of sixteen nurses participated in the study, where nine nurses were part of a focus group and the remaining seven were interviewed individually. The nurses who participated in the focus group were excluded from participating in the individual interviews. The focus group nurses were part of a convenience sampling strategy, that was broad in nature, with no specific parameters as to who could participate. The focus group was planned as an activity that was part of a 1-day meeting held by an HIV mentoring program. Whereas the sampling for nurses that were selected for the interviews was more focused and certain parameters needed to be met according to the needs of the study. These nurses were selected using a combination of maximum variation strategy and purposive sampling. The purposive parameters included French-speaking nurses who worked with PLWH and wished to reflect on their practice whereas the maximum variation strategy warranted a heterogeneous sample that was extensive in choosing nurses from various nursing practice settings as well as various nurses profiles (Rouleau et al., 2019). I think the combination of the sampling with having a randomized focus group as well as having a more focused purposive selection of nurses who were interviewed individually gives the study a unique edge and broad scope of the population sample. Thus, the quality of the sampling pool in terms of the deviation of the focus group from those who were interviewed individually is a definite strength. There was also variation amongst the nurse practice setting from nurses in clinical practice to those in clinical research, academia, public health, and management. However, while there was variation amongst the practice setting and role of the nurses, eleven out of the sixteen nurses were clinicians practicing in a clinical setting – most working in outpatient HIV clinics. While the focus of the study is a nursing practice in the adherence of ART amongst HIV patients, I think having more nurses who were practicing in the public health setting could’ve also played a role in strengthening the sampling and study overall. Another strength of the sampling pool was the wide variation of years of experience as an HIV nurse ranging from 0.7 years to 25 years with the average nurse having 12 years of experience. Thus, giving a perspective from both nurses who have just begun working with HIV patients to those who are well seasoned and experienced HIV nurses. Age and education were also parameters the sample showed strengths in. However, another area where the study could’ve shown improvement in the quality of the sampling is the ratio of female to male nurses. The sample of the study was predominantly female, with only a total of three males out of sixteen participating in the study. While this could be due to the lack of male nurses in the field overall, having more female participants than male participants could lead to gender bias in the data collection.

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