OJD  Vol.8 No.4 , November 2019
The Role of Support Groups in the Management of Depression amongst People Living with HIV at Regional Hospital of Bamenda
Abstract: Depression is the most common neuropsychiatric mental condition found among people living with HIV (PLHIV). Despite its high prevalence, depression remains under diagnosed amongst PLHIV, and determining its prevalence is very cumbersome. As a mental condition, it has been associated with increased comorbidity, non-adherence to HAART, suicidal attempts, unsafe sex practice, just to name a few. Support groups have been shown to play an important role in the improvement of the quality of life of PLHIV and could be a means of managing depressive symptoms that arise in their lifetime. The aim of this research was to assess the role of support groups in the management of depression amongst PLHIV at the Bamenda Regional Hospital (BRH). This was a hospital based, observational cross sectional and descriptive study used to gather information from, one hundred and fifty two (152) HIV positive patients sticking to appointments at the treatment centre of BRH. The patient health questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) was the screening tool for depression. Minimal, mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe depression constituted the levels of depression in which participants with depressive symptoms felt. A score of nine and above (≥9) was considered positive for depression. Further, the role of support groups were assessed through other questions that constituted the questionnaire and the activities carried out in support groups were observed and compared to standards of practice. Analysis revealed that 29.61% (95% CI: 22.5% - 35.7%) were positive for depression, and 108 (71.06%) participants presented with depressive symptoms. The role of support groups to participants was that it helps them in adhering to medication, filling hopeful and aiding them in disclosing their seropositive status to family members. The student t-test: t (70, N = 71) = ?0.468, p = 0.641, showed no significant difference amongst support groups attendees and non-attendees, however, they are important to PLHIV and its practice at the level of Bambui District Hospital should be improved.
Cite this paper: Wamia, A. and Victorine, N. (2019) The Role of Support Groups in the Management of Depression amongst People Living with HIV at Regional Hospital of Bamenda. Open Journal of Depression, 8, 71-84. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2019.84008.

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