Little is known about the coping strategies used among people with HIV (PWH), especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and the extent to which adaptive or maladaptive coping strategies are associated with symptoms of mental health disorders. We interviewed 426 PWH initiating HIV care in Cameroon and reported the prevalence of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies, overall and by presence of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Log binominal regression was used to estimate the association between each type of coping strategy (adaptive or maladaptive) and symptoms of each mental health disorder, separately. Adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies were commonly reported among PWH enrolling in HIV care in Cameroon. Across all mental health disorders assessed, greater maladaptive coping was associated with higher prevalence of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Adaptive coping was not associated with symptoms of any of the mental health disorders assessed in bivariate or multivariable models. Our study found that PWH endorsed a range of concurrent adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies. Future efforts should explore the extent to which coping strategies change throughout the HIV care continuum. Interventions to reduce maladaptive coping have the potential to improve the mental health of PWH in Cameroon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases