Psychosocial functioning among HIV-affected youth and their caregivers in haiti: Implications for family-focused service provision in high HIV burden settings

Mary C. Smith Fawzi, Eddy Eustache, Catherine Oswald, Pamela Surkan, Ermaze Louis, Fiona Scanlan, Richard Wong, Michelle Li, Joia Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study is an analysis of baseline data from a pilot psychosocial support intervention for HIV-affected youth and their caregivers in Haiti. Six sites in Haiti's Central Department affiliated with Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante (PIH/ZL) and the Haitian Ministry of Health were included. Participants were recruited from a list of HIV-positive patients receiving care at PIH/ZL. The baseline questionnaire was administered from February 2006 to January 2007 with HIV-affected youth (n=492), ages 10-17, and their caregivers (n=330). According to findings at baseline, the youth reported high levels of anxiety, including constant fidgeting (86%), restlessness (83%), and worrying a lot (56%). Their parents/caregivers also reported a high level of depressive symptoms, such as low energy (73%), feeling everything is an effort (71%), and sadness (69%). Parents' depressive symptoms were positively associated with their children's psychological symptoms (odds ratio [OR] =1.6-2.4) and psychosocial functioning (OR =1.6 according to parental report). The significant levels of anxiety and depression observed among HIV-affected youth and their caregivers suggest that psychosocial interventions are needed among HIV-affected families in central Haiti and other high HIV burden areas. The results suggest that a family-focused approach to service provision may be beneficial, possibly improving quality of life, as well as psychosocial and physical health-related outcomes among HIV-affected youth and their caregivers, particularly HIV-positive parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS patient care and STDs
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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