Depression in the HIV/AIDS Community: A Psychometric Study of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology and Assessment of Risk Factors for Depression




Merlock, Megan Christine Viola

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Over the last two decades, medical advancements in the detection and treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have allowed patients with HIV/AIDS to live longer such that the disease is now viewed as a chronic, manageable illness.research has overwhelmingly shown that depression in this population is associated with poorer course of illness and shorter lifespan. Despite such findings, few studies have addressed the utility of assessment tools which may assist clinicians in assessing depression among HIV/AIDS patients. The present study is the first to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Psychology-Self-Report (QIDS-SR) version which is a 16 - item measure of depressive severity, in HIV/AIDS patients. Three hundred and seventy one male outpatient seeking mental health treatment at a community-based HIV/AIDS clinic were recruited for the study. Patients completed the QIDS-SR and a subset also completed the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II) along with a demographic questionnaire. Statistical analyses indicated that a cutoff score of 8.0 on the QIDS-SR distinguishes between depressed and not depressed patients with 95-97% sensitivity and84-88% specificity. Factor analysis revealed the QIDS-SR to be unidimensional in this sample.Total scores for the QIDS-SR showed high correlations with diagnosis of depresion by psychiatrists (.71) and total socres on the BDI-II (.90). Internal consistency was strong for the QIDS-SR (Cronbach's alpha=.85). Risk factors commonly associated with depression in the general population - unemployment and low education achieved - were not predictive of depression and the sample of male HIV/AIDS outpatients, nor were additional factors of sexual orientation and ethnic minority status. Thus, the QIDS-SR demonstarted acceptable concurrent and convergent validity and internal consistency. These strong psychometric properties along with the self-report format, brief administrations time, and unifactorial structure make the QIDS-SR a valuable clinical instrument for use in the HIV/AIDS population.

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