‘I Got it off my Chest’: An Examination of how Research Participation Improved the Mental Health of Women Engaging in Transactional Sex

Marisa Felsher, Sarah E. Wiehe, Jayleen K.L. Gunn, Alexis M. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ecologic momentary assessment (EMA) is a form of close-ended diary writing. While it has been shown that participating in a study that incorporates EMA improves mental health of participants, no study to date has examined the pathways through which benefits may occur. For 4-weeks, twice-daily EMAs and weekly interviews captured mood, daily activities and HIV risk behavior of 25 women who engage in transactional sex. Qualitative analysis of exit interviews was performed to examine how participation impacted women's mental health. The majority of participants felt that EMAs heightened awareness of emotions and behavior. Most reported experiencing catharsis from the interviews; specifically, from having a non-judgmental, trusting listener. Participants felt responsible for completing tasks, a sense of accomplishment for completing the study, and altruism. This study demonstrates there are direct benefits associated with participation in an EMA and interview study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity mental health journal
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • Catharsis
  • Electronic diaries
  • Ethics
  • Mental health
  • Sex workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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