Routine screening for depression: Identifying a challenge for successful HIV care

E. Shacham, D. Nurutdinova, V. Satyanarayana, K. Stamm, E. T. Overton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Individuals with HIV experience fluctuating levels of distress throughout the course of HIV infection. This study was conducted to examine the associations of depressive symptomatology with HIV disease in a cohort of individuals who are engaged in routine medical care. This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence of depressive symptoms that were measured as part of a standard of care behavioral assessment among individuals at an urban HIV clinic in the Midwest. Demographic characteristics, depressive symptoms, and behavioral risk factors were collected. A total of 514 individuals participated in the study, the majority of whom was male and African American. One quarter of the sample endorsed symptoms of other depressive disorder, while 18% (n=91) endorsed symptoms of major depressive disorder as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Among those on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), individuals who were unemployed (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.54, 3.97), had a minor dependent (AOR-2.17, 95% CI=1.25, 3.77), or between the ages of 18 and 34 years (AOR=1.37, CI=1.03, 1.94) and detectable HIV viral load (AOR=2.52, 95% CI=1.22, 5.23) were more likely to report depressive disorder symptoms when controlling for age, gender, race, and education. Nearly 15% of the sample endorsed having suicidal thoughts at least once in the past two weeks. Regardless of HAART prescription, individuals who were unemployed had a higher likelihood of expressing suicidal ideation (AOR=3.43, 95% CI=1.66, 7.06). Given the association between depressive symptomatology and poor rates of HIV viral suppression, screening and appropriate interventions for depressive symptoms are warranted in the HIV outpatient setting to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


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