Coping strategies and their correlation with depression, anxiety, and stress among HIV-positive patients referred to voluntary counseling and testing center, Tehran, Iran, 2019
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Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Bergen Addiction Research, Department of Addiction Medicine, Haukland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
Submission date: 2021-08-20
Final revision date: 2021-11-02
Acceptance date: 2021-11-12
Publication date: 2023-09-15
HIV & AIDS Review 2023;22(3):251-260
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is one of the major global health problems and stressful experience for individuals; therefore, different strategies are engaged to cope with the disease and associated problems. Each of these strategies may have different outcomes, including increased depression, anxiety, stress, and decreased social functioning, achieve full mental health, and social well-being. The aim of this study was to evaluate the coping strategies in HIV-positive patients, determine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress in these patients as well as to investigate the relationship between coping strategies with the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Material and methods:
In this study, 100 HIV-positive patients who were referred to voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) center from January to September 2019 were recruited by convenience sampling method to complete two validated questionnaires: ways of coping strategies (WOC) and depression, anxiety, and stress scale (DASS).

The findings showed that the mean score of emotion-focused and problem-focused strategies were 44.90 and 44.51, respectively. There was a significant relationship between problem-focused strategies and participants’ gender and both strategies with age of patients. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress was 68%, 76%, and 73%, respectively. The prevalence of all three psychological conditions were correlated with gender. In addition, depression and anxiety were significantly correlated with the last educational level. Results also showed that using emotion-focused coping strategies was associated with depression, anxiety, and stress.

Considering the study results, it seems necessary to conduct regular screening programs, appropriate psychological interventions, and social support for this population.

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