Ross and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional correlational study among HIV-positive pregnant women to determine predictors of depressive symptoms (Ross, Sawatphanit and Zeller, 2009). They examined self-esteem, emotional support, and physical symptoms as the main predictors of depressive symptoms. These researchers hypothesized that depressive symptoms were negatively associated with self-esteem and emotional support, but positively correlated with physical symptoms (Ross et al., 2009). The researchers used convenience sampling to enlist 127 HIV-positive pregnant women in five hospitals in Thailand (Ross et al., 2009). Registered nurses (RNs) in each hospital identified participants who were aged 18 years and above.
RNs used the Western blot method to identify HIV-positive pregnant women with no history of psychiatric-mental health problems and drug abuse. The study was conducted in five prenatal clinics in Thailand. The study findings indicated that 78% of 127 respondents noted some extent of depressive symptoms. There was a positive correlation between physical symptoms (β=.192, p<.05) and depressive symptoms while a negative relationship with depressive symptoms were in self-esteem (β=-.442, p<.001), emotional support (β=.193, p<.001) and financial status (β=-.209, p<.01). The study concluded that depressive symptoms facilitated the development of immunodeficiency syndrome among HIV-positive persons (Antelman et al., 2007). The result showed high levels of depressive symptoms among participants. Thus, it was necessary to test such patients for depressive symptoms. Moreover, the study also noted that it was imperative to identify and treat causes of physical symptoms while self-esteem and emotional support for HIV-positive pregnant women required strengthening in Thailand.
Antelman, G., Kaaya, S., Wei, R., Mbwambo, J., Msamanga, G. I., Fawzi, W. W., and Fawzi, M. C. (2007). Depressive symptoms increase risk of HIV disease progression and mortality among women in Tanzania. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 44(4), 470-7.
Ross, R., Sawatphanit, W., and Zeller, R. (2009). Depressive Symptoms among HIV- positive Pregnant Women in Thailand. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 41(4), 344-50.