A comparative study of anxiety among HIV seropositive individuals, cancer patients and individuals from the normative population

  • ML Imasiku

Abstract

Excessive anxiety contributes to a sense of helplessness in which a person feels little control over the present or future and continues maladaptive behaviour patterns. In view of the negative influence of long standing anxiety, the present study attempts to find an answer regarding the possible differences between the prevalence and impact of anxiety in HIV seropositive individuals, cancer patients and individuals from the normative population. Anxiety is a major health harzard in HIV seropositive individuals. This is so because it is probably one of the factors responsible for the quick progression of their HIV seropositive status to AIDS. Method: The sample consisted of 180 subjects. Half of these individuals (90) came from Zambia and the remaining 90 came from India. Out of each group of 90 individuals, 30 were HIV seropositive individuals, 30 were HIV negative but with cancer and 30 were individuals from the normative population (having none of the above two mentioned conditions i.e. HIV or Cancer). In Zambia, the sample was drawn from the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Kara Counseling - Hope house, Mother Theresa Hospice and Network of Zambian people living with HIV (NZP+). In India the sample was drawn from Snehandan, Karnataka network for people living with HIV (KNP+), and Kidwai Hospital. The technique of assessment used was the Symptoms Questionnaire developed 1 used to assess anxiety and physical illness behavior (somatic symptoms). The data obtained was analyzed using‘t’ tests and analysis of covariance. In the present investigation an attempt was made to explore the intensity of anxiety in HIV+ individuals, Cancer patients and individuals from the normative population. Conclusion: The findings of the present study reveal that HIV+ individuals and cancer patients have higher levels of anxiety than individuals from the normative population. Anxiety is also found to be positively correlated with physical illness behavior. This indicates that high level of anxiety and physical illness behavior seem to co- exist. It’s therefore likely that a high level of anxiety is a core factor that might be responsible for the quick progression of HIV infection into AIDS.
Published
2009-10-06
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0047-651X
print ISSN: 0047-651X