Common Mental Disorders: A Challenge Among People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in Udupi, India
Background: Globally, the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) is greater among people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (PLHA) as opposed to the general population. There is relatively limited research on mental health in PLHA in India and this study seeks to gain insight in this area.
Aim: The aim of this study is to find the prevalence of CMD among PLHA in Udupi district.
Subjects and Methods: In this cross.sectional study, 227 PLHA were selected using a convenience sampling method and interviewed at a district antiretroviral treatment center. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10 scale) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ.12) were used to measure distress and stress, respectively to assess CMD. Statistical analysis was performed with categorical variables expressed as frequencies and percentages. Continuous variables were measured using mean and standard deviation. Univariate and multivariate analyses using binomial logistic regression was carried out. SPSS version 15 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used to analyze the data.
Results: The K10 Psychological Distress Scale indicated that 78.9% (n = 179/227) of participants suffered from mild to severe mental disorder and it was higher among divorced, separated or widowed PLHA followed by the married participants versus unmarried individuals. The GHQ.12 scale showed 68.3% (n = 155/227) suffering from mild to severe mental stress with the female gender developing stress 2.3 times more often.
Conclusion: High levels of distress were seen among PLHA. They should be periodically screened for CMD and provided early psychological intervention at the point of contact with health professionals. Psychological care needs to be integrated along with the clinical care.
Keywords: Common mental disorders, India, People living with human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Prevalence