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Psychosocial outcomes in a cohort of perinatally HIV-infected adolescents in Western Jamaica

Tracy Evans-GilbertKazie KasibieGail ReidShelly Ann Williams

Tracy Denise Evans-Gilbert

DOI: 10.1080/20469047.2018.1428074

Paediatrics and international child health



AIDS SerodiagnosisAdolescent outcome assessmentpsychology

Background: Psychosocial factors interact with adolescent development and affect the ability of HIV-infected adolescents to cope with and adhere to treatment. Aim: To evaluate psychosocial outcomes in perinatally HIV-infected adolescents (PHIVAs) in Western Jamaica after psychosocial intervention. Methods: The Bright Futures Paediatric Symptom Checklist (BF-PSC) was used for psychological screening of PHIVAs in Western Jamaica. Referred patients were evaluated using the Youth version of the Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS). Demographic, laboratory, and clinical data obtained between July 2014 and June 2016 were evaluated retrospectively and outcomes were reviewed before and after psychosocial intervention. Results: Sixty PHIVAs were enrolled and 36 (60%) had a positive BF-PSC score that necessitated referral. The BF-PSC correctly identified 89% of patients with impaired psychosocial assessment by CIS scores. Referred patients were less likely to adhere to treatment, to be virologically suppressed or to have a CD4+count of >500 cells/?l, and were more likely to be in the late teenage group or to be of orphan status. After intervention, the prevalence of viral suppression increased and median viral load decreased. A difference in mean CD4+ cell count was detected before but not after intervention in teenage and orphan groups. Conclusions: The BF-PSC identified at-risk PHIVAs with impaired psychosocial functioning. Increased vulnerability was noted in orphans and older teenagers. Psychosocial interventions (including family therapy) reduced psychosocial impairment and improved virological suppression. Mental health intervention should be instituted to facilitate improved clinical outcomes, autonomy of care and transition to adult care.



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