Symptoms of depression and anxiety among a sample of South African patients living with HIV
Little systematic research has been conducted on the extent of psychiatric disorders among South African patients in general, and among patients living with HIV in particular. The present study reports on a survey conducted among 85 patients receiving treatment at three HIV clinics in the Western Cape. Participants completed the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), two self-report instruments designed to measure mood disturbance. The mean score of the sample on the HSCL was 47.54, which was significantly different from the commonly used cut-point of 44 for clinically significant distress; 52.9% of the sample scored in the elevated range on this measure. On the BDI, 37.6% of the sample fell in or above the moderate range for depression. The results suggest that a considerable proportion of the sample may be experiencing psychiatric difficulty, for which they may not be receiving treatment. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.