Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

People with HIV Are Heavy Mental Health Users. (2,864 Patients Surveyed)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

People with HIV Are Heavy Mental Health Users. (2,864 Patients Surveyed)

Article excerpt

Adults under care for HIV infection are nearly five times as liely to use mental health or substance abuse services than are those in the general population, according to a survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,864 people infected with the virus. The study was conducted by M. Audrey Burnam, Ph.D., of RAND in Santa Monica, Calif., and her colleagues.

The study's results indicate that 61.4% of adults with HIV had used mental health or substance abuse services within the previous 6 months (Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 58[8]:729-36, 2001). In contrast, an earlier study of the general population showed that 13.3% had used mental health or substance abuse services during the previous year.

Among adults with HIV, 1.8% had been hospitalized, 3.4% had received residential treatment for substance abuse, 5.6% received outpatient substance abuse treatment, and 12.4% participated in substance abuse self-help groups.

Fully 29.6% of the sample said they had "regularly taen" psychotherapeutic medications for depression, anxiety, or emotional problems during the 6-month period. …

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