Psychological distress symptoms of individuals seeking HIV-related psychosocial support in western Kenya

M. Reece, E. Shacham, P. Monahan, V. Yebei, W. O. Ong'Or, O. Omollo, C. Ojwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


While researchers in many western countries have documented the nature of psychological distress that is commonly present among individuals living with HIV, there has been virtually no research on the same topic among other high prevalence areas of the world, particularly in countries like Kenya. This study sought to document the nature of psychological distress among 397 individuals living with HIV in western Kenya and who were participating in psychosocial support groups in conjunction with their enrolment in HIV-related treatment. Psychological distress was assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), a 53-item self-report psychological inventory that asks individuals to recall symptoms experienced in the prior seven days. The levels of psychological distress in this sample were moderate with a substantial proportion of participants meeting the criteria that suggested a need for further psychiatric evaluation. Findings support the need for further assessments of the range and nature of psychological distress among the diverse communities of countries like Kenya and the need for greater attention to the inclusion of mental health services in the rapidly developing treatment and prevention programs in this region of the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1200
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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