IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The methodology of HIV/AIDS impact studies: a review of current practices


  • Booysen, Frederik le R.
  • Arntz, Tanja


This review of studies on the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS shows that diversity in methodological design, which often is a result of practical considerations and resource constraints rather than of poor design, is the norm. This limits the comparability of research findings. More detailed reporting on method, which is not the norm, can go some way towards facilitating such comparison. Furthermore, the review underlines the importance of exploring intervention issues in more detail. Researchers need to employ results in answering specific policy questions. Scope remains for more impact studies to be conducted in developing countries in general and in certain high prevalence countries in specific, i.e. Southern Africa. Studies that explore the urban/rural dynamics of and clients' perceptions and behavior in seeking care and support are necessary to better understand the epidemic. The role of community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in studies of this nature can be expanded. Larger studies generally have more statistical power, but smaller, in-depth studies can be equally valuable. A careful stratification of sample populations can enhance the quality of cross-sectional studies. Qualitative methods should be used to complement the current reliance on survey-based methods of data collection. More longitudinal studies are required to explore the long-term impacts of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS training for fieldworkers should be standard in studies of this nature, while cognizance should be taken of the dangers of employing local people as fieldworkers in studies of such sensitive nature. Scope remains for the further empirical analysis of data from impact studies, which requires these data sets being made accessible to more researchers. In the longer term, an attempt at standardizing core modules in impact studies can help to improve our understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS in different settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Booysen, Frederik le R. & Arntz, Tanja, 2003. "The methodology of HIV/AIDS impact studies: a review of current practices," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2391-2405, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:12:p:2391-2405

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Paul Moatti & Bruno Ventelou, 2009. "Économie de la santé dans les pays en développement des paradigmes en mutation," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 60(2), pages 241-256.
    2. Hosegood, Victoria & Preston-Whyte, Eleanor & Busza, Joanna & Moitse, Sindile & Timaeus, Ian M., 2007. "Revealing the full extent of households' experiences of HIV and AIDS in rural South Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1249-1259, September.

    More about this item


    HIV/AIDS Impact studies Methodology;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:12:p:2391-2405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.