Prevalence of stressful life events and associations with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder among people entering care for HIV in Cameroon

Lindsey M. Filiatreau, Peter Vanes Ebasone, Anastase Dzudie, Rogers Ajeh, Brian W. Pence, Milton Wainberg, Denis Nash, Marcel Yotebieng, Kathryn Anastos, Eric Pefura-Yone, Denis Nsame, Angela M. Parcesepe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Exposure to stressors increases the risk of mental health disorders. People living with HIV (PLWH) are particularly affected by poor mental health which can contribute to adverse HIV treatment outcomes. Methods: We estimated the prevalence of recent stressful life events (modified Life Events Survey) among a cohort of PLWH entering HIV care at three public health care facilities in Cameroon and quantified the association of seven types of stressful life events with symptoms of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores>9), anxiety (General Anxiety Disorder-7 scores>9), and PTSD (PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 scores>30) using separate log-binomial regression models. Results: Of 426 PLWH enrolling in care, a majority were women (59%), in relationships (58%), and aged 21 to 39 years (58%). Recent death of a family member (39%) and severe illness of a family member (34%) were the most commonly reported stressful life events. In multivariable analyses, more stressful life event types, a negative relationship change, death or illness of a friend/family member, experience of violence, work-related difficulties, and feeling unsafe in one's neighborhood were independently associated with at least one of the mental health outcomes assessed. The greatest magnitude of association was observed between work-related difficulties and PTSD (adjusted prevalence ratio: 3.1; 95% confidence interval: 2.0–4.8). Limitations: Given the design of our study, findings are subject to recall and social desirability bias. Conclusions: Stressful life events were common among this population of PLWH entering care in Cameroon. Evidence-based interventions that improve coping, stress management, and mental health are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume308
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cameroon
  • Depression
  • HIV
  • PTSD
  • Stressful life events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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