Objective: We assessed the extent of anxiety/depression/distress using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) among a cross-section of HIV test-seekers at a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) facility in Pune, India.
Methods: HADS has 14 items for uniscale with 7 items each for anxiety and depression rated on a four-point Likert scale. Between September 2002 and March 2003, HADS was administered to 150 consecutive HIV tests-seekers attending NARI-Talera VCT facility. Subsequently, HIV testing was done after obtaining informed consent.
Results: HADS showed strong internal consistency (Cronbach-α 0.77). The prevalence of risk behavior (73.3%) and HIV (45.5%) were high. Education levels influenced anxiety (p = 0.033; 0.008), more so in women (p = 0.044). Repeat test-seekers exhibited significant depression (AOR: 2.9; 95% CI: 1.4-6.1; p = 0.004) and distress (AOR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.2-5.3; p = 0.017). Marital status influenced the uniscale scores. The HIV positive repeat test-seekers were more anxious (p = 0.035) and depressed (0.037).
Conclusions: Existence of emotional distress among HIV test-seekers, particularly among repeat test-seekers, possibly 'AIDS-anxious' individuals indicates additional counseling needs specifically by introducing gender and education sensitive interventions. VCT staff can be trained to assess emotional distress among HIV test-seekers to formulate long-term intervention.
Seema Sahay; Mrudula Phadke; Radhika Brahme; Vasudeo Paralikar; Vandana Joshi; Suvarna Sane; Arun Risbud; Suhas Mate; Mehendale, S. Correlates of anxiety and depression among HIV test-seekers at a Voluntary Counseling and Testing facility in Pune, India. Quality of Life Research (2007) 16 (1) 41-52. [DOI: 10.1007/s11136-006-9112-1]