Psychometric validity of the distress thermometer and problem check list in ART-naïve HIV infected patients in Northern Nigeria
Background: HIV diagnosis comes with a lot of worry and distress. Ability to objectively estimate this distress by non-psychiatrist will enhance early detection of psychological distress for intervention.
Objectives: To investigate the validity of the Distress Thermometer (DT) and its problem checklist in achieving early detection of mental distress among ART-naïve HIV infected patient.
Materials and Methods: A total of 90 ART-naïve HIV infected patients completed the DT and its problem check list, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), Oslo Social Support Scale and the 14-item Resilience Scale.
Results: The DT was positively correlated with all the measures of distress and reversely correlated with all the positive wellness in this study. The correlations were only significant for the negative measures of psychological wellness. The internal consistency of the DT’s problem list overall and sub-categories were within acceptable range (i.e. α > 0.50). The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and Area Under the Curves (AUC) analysis were significant and found the DT and Problem List to respectively differentiate between cases of distress, anxiety and depression. The DT’s cut-off was >5.0 with AUC range (0.754 – 0.709); sensitivity range (81.0% – 70.4%); specificity range (68.3% – 65.2%) for distress, anxiety and depression as determined by HADS. And the Problem List cut-off was >6.0 with AUC range (0.854 – 0.821); sensitivity range (90.5% - 85.7%); specificity range (68.3% - 65.2%) for distress, anxiety and depression as measured by HADS.
Conclusion: The DT and Problem List were found to be valid measures of distress in ART-naïve HIV infected patients.
Keywords: Distress thermometer, validity, psychological distress, ART-naïve, Northern Nigeria.
While African Health Sciences has been freely accessible online there have been questions on whether it is Open Access or not. We wish to clearly state that indeed African Health Sciences is Open Access. There are key issues regarding Open Access needing clarification for avoidance of doubt:
- 1. Henceforth, papers in African Health Sciences will be published under the CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on https://creativecomons.org/)
- 2. The copyright owners or the authors grant the 3rd party (perpetually and in advance) the right to disseminate, reproduce, or use the research papers in part or in full, format/medium as long as:
- No substantive errors are introduced in the process
- Attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given
- The referencing details are not changed.
Should the papers be reproduced in part, this must be clearly stated.
- 3. The papers will be freely and universally accessible online in an easily readable format such as XML in at least one widely recognized open access repository such as PUBMED CENTRAL.
B. ABRIDGED LICENCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS AND African Health Sciences
I submitted my manuscript to African Health Sciences and would like to affirm that:
1.0 I am authorized by my co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
2.0 I guarantee, on behalf of self and co-authors:
- That the paper is original, and has not been published in any other peer-reviewed journal; nor is it under consideration by other journal (s). It does not infringe existing copyright or any other person’s rights
- That we are/I am the sole author(s) of the paper and with authority to enter into this agreement. My granting rights to African Health Sciences is not in breach of any other obligation
- That the paper contains nothing unlawful, or libelous. Nor anything that would constitute a breach of contract, confidence or commitment given to secrecy, if published
- That I/we have taken care to ensure the integrity of the article.