Depression and its associated factors among people living with HIV in the Volta region of Ghana

Jerry John Nutor (Lead / Corresponding author), Robert Kaba Alhassan, Rachel G. A. Thompson, David Ayangba Asakitogum, Henry Ofori Duah, Tiarney D. Ritchwood, Nkothula Nkosi, Ntombifikile Klaas, Sampson Opoku Agyemang, Akua O. Gyamerah

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Abstract

Depression among people living with HIV/AIDS in higher-income countries is associated with suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy and though counterintuitive. Yet, less is known regarding how depression, social support, and other sociodemographic factors influence outcomes among people living with HIV, particularly in resource-limited settings like Ghana. In view of this gap, this study investigated factors associated with depressive symptoms among people living with HIV in the Volta region of Ghana. A total of 181 people living with HIV from a local antiretroviral clinic was purposively sampled for the study. The questionnaire included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the Internalized Stigma of HIV/AIDS Tool, and the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List-12. An independent student t-test, one-way analysis of variance, and chi-square test were conducted to ascertain the associations among the variables of interest. The magnitude of association was evaluated with multiple linear regression. The average depression score among the participants was 9.1±8.8 and 20.4% reported signs of depression. Majority (78%) of participants who were depressed were male compared to females (p = 0.031). In the multiple linear regression, every one-year increase in age was significantly associated with an estimated 0.012 standard deviation increase in depression scores (95% CI: 0.002–0.021) after adjusting for all other variables in the model. Every unit standard deviation increase in social support was significantly associated with an estimated 0.659 standard deviation increase in depression scores (95% CI:0.187–1.132), after adjusting for all other variables in the model. We found a high prevalence of depressive symptoms among people living with HIV especially among males. An increase in age and social support was associated with an increase in depressive symptoms among people living with HIV in this study. We recommend further study using longitudinal approach to understand this unexpected association between depression and social support among people living with HIV in Ghana.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0000035
Number of pages13
JournalPLOS Global Public Health
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2024

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