Symptoms of psychological distress among African Americans seeking HIV-related mental health care.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of symptoms of psychological distress experienced by African Americans upon self-enrollment in HIV-related mental health care and to compare the symptoms in this sample to the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) normative sample, the instrument used in this study to assess symptoms of psychological distress. Data were collected from 575 African Americans living with HIV who self-enrolled at an HIV-related mental health clinic located in a large city in the southeastern United States. Nearly 20% of the sample reported a t score >/= 63 for both somatization and paranoid ideation, a level indicative of a need for further psychological evaluation. Compared to the normative sample, this sample had significantly lower levels (p < 0.05) of anxiety, depression, phobic anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity, and global severity index than the normative sample and had significantly higher levels of paranoid ideation and somatization than the normative sample. These results indicate that, overall, African Americans presented for mental health services with lower levels of symptoms of psychological distress than the normative sample. To that end, it is possible that African Americans living with HIV may underreport symptoms of psychological distress or may experience symptoms of psychological distress differently than other individuals. As a result, it is important that HIV-related service providers recognize these patterns of psychological distress and provide appropriate referrals to HIV-related mental health providers.
Article: Use of mental health and substance abuse treatment services among adults with HIV in the United States.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The need for mental health and substance abuse services is great among those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but little information is available on services used by this population or on individual factors associated with access to care. Data are from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study, a national probability survey of 2864 HIV-infected adults receiving medical care in the United States in 1996. We estimated 6-month use of services for mental health and substance abuse problems and examined socioeconomic, HIV illness, and regional factors associated with use. We estimated that 61.4% of 231 400 adults under care for HIV used mental health or substance abuse services: 1.8% had hospitalizations, 3.4% received residential substance abuse treatment, 26.0% made individual mental health specialty visits, 15.2% had group mental health treatment, 40.3% discussed emotional problems with medical providers, 29.6% took psychotherapeutic medications, 5.6% received outpatient substance abuse treatment, and 12.4% participated in substance abuse self-help groups. Socioeconomic factors commonly associated with poorer access to health services predicted lower likelihood of using mental health outpatient care, but greater likelihood of receiving substance abuse treatment services. Those with less severe HIV illness were less likely to access services. Persons living in the Northeast were more likely to receive services. The magnitude of mental health and substance abuse care provided to those with known HIV infection is substantial, and challenges to providers should be recognized. Inequalities in access to care are evident, but differ among general medical, specialty mental health, and substance abuse treatment sectors.Archives of General Psychiatry 09/2001; 58(8):729-36. · 12.02 Impact Factor