OJMP  Vol.8 No.2 , April 2019
Diagnosing Dysfunctional Coping in HIV-Infected Persons
Abstract: Introduction: Dysfunctional coping may negatively affect the effectiveness of highly active anti-retro-viral therapy (HAART) to achieve viral suppression. Despite its negative effects on health outcomes, dysfunctional coping remains undiagnosed and untreated in HIV patients. Therefore, it would seem important to diagnose dysfunctional coping in HIV-patients in order to enable health care providers’ plan and execute intervention and treatment strategies in a population of HIV-patients/HIV-infected persons, to reduce health problems that may be associated with it. Aims/Objectives: 1) To identify elements of dysfunctional coping in HIV-patients. 2) To screen HIV-infective persons for dysfunctional coping. 3) To assess prevalence of dysfunctional coping among HIV-patients. 4) To assess association of duration of HIV-infection (survivability) with dysfunctional coping in HIV-infected persons. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out, to diagnose dysfunctional coping in HIV-infected patients. Subjects were HIV patients receiving HAART at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, Nigeria. Over 110 HIV-infected persons were screened for dysfunctional coping, using 28-item Brief Cope Questionnaire. Results: After various forms of statistical analyses were performed on the data, results indicate differing prevalent rates for the four key dimensions of dysfunctional coping derived from the Brief-cope questionnaire, used to measure dysfunctional coping in this study; Denial Coping, 68 (61.8 percent), Behavioral Disengagement Coping, 46 (41.8 percent), Substance Use Coping, 24 (21.8 percent), Self-Blame Coping, 61 (55.5 percent); and composite (Integrated/Combined) dysfunctional coping, 49 (44.5 percent). A total prevalence rate of 44.5 percent was reported. Altogether more than 60 percent of the HIV patients screened positive for one dimension of dysfunctional coping or the other. The qui-square analyses revealed an association of denial coping with duration of HIV-infection/survivability. Conclusion/Recommendation: Overall, the study was able to demonstrate that dysfunctional coping was quite common among HIV patients. Dysfunctional coping may be a determinant of health in HIV patients and significantly affect health outcome. It was therefore recommended that interventions focused on coping strategies be integrated into management of HIV patients in order to improve their psychological and physical wellbeing.
Cite this paper: Ezeh, O. (2019) Diagnosing Dysfunctional Coping in HIV-Infected Persons. Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 8, 36-43. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2019.82003.

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