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Keywords:

  • Depressive symptoms;
  • HIV-positive pregnant women;
  • Thailand

Abstract

Purpose: To examine predictors of depressive symptoms among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive, pregnant women in Thailand.

Design: Correlational, cross-sectional study.

Methods: Data were collected at prenatal clinics in five hospitals in Thailand from January 2004 to January 2006. One hundred twenty-seven HIV-positive pregnant women completed questionnaires in Thai on depressive symptoms, self-esteem, emotional support, physical symptoms, and demographics. Simultaneous multiple regression was used to analyze predictors of depressive symptoms.

Findings: Seventy-eight percent of the 127 participants reported depressive symptoms to some degree. Physical symptoms (β= .192, p<.05) were positively associated with depressive symptoms, but self-esteem (β=−.442, p<.001), emotional support (β=−.193, p<.01), and financial status (β=−.209, p<.01) were negatively correlated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: The study results have added new knowledge about depressive symptoms and their predictors in HIV-positive pregnant women in Thailand.

Clinical Relevance: Depressive symptoms have been associated with faster progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among HIV-positive individuals. The high rate of depression in our study suggests that HIV-positive pregnant women in Thailand should all be screened for depressive symptoms. Causes of physical symptoms should be identified and treated. Emotional support and self-esteem should be strengthened for HIV-positive pregnant Thai women.