Diverse studies show a prevalence of mental disturbances among HIV positive patients, including the abuse of addictive substances, which have rates near 50%, rates much higher than those expected among the general population.
The authors determine the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among our patients, as well as possible factors which can be associated with the development of the aforementioned mental disturbances by means of a prospective study on HIV positive patients treated by our service between December 2007 and April 2008. Data analyzed came from Nursing clinical files patient case histories, and by means of an anonymous social demographic and drug addiction questionnaire comprised of 13 items which were previously validated.
This questionnaire started off with 7 social demographic questions related to personal data of the person filling in the questionnaire; followed by 6 closed answer questions on the interviewee's habits consuming toxic substance, degree of adherence to TARGA, and whether or not the patient had some type of follow-up or psychiatric treatment.
Of the 50 cases studied, we found 44% had previously known psychiatric pathologies, of which 38% received pharmaceutical treatment.
The incidence of psychiatric pathology in our sample corroborates data found in the bibliography consulted by the authors.
Improvement in treatment of HIV patients requires a multidisciplinary approach and the existence of psychotherapeutic interventions based on set protocols by means of Nursing treatment plans specifying psychiatric pathology which avoid recurring to patient psychiatric evaluation only in cases of clinical decompensation, behavior disorders, uncontrolled behavior due to abuse or abstinence, symptoms concurrent to one's psychiatric pathology.