HIV-positive people often experience mental health disorders and engage in substance use when the disease progresses. In resource limited settings, mental health services are not integrated into HIV services. In Nepal, HIV-positive people do receive psychosocial support and other basic health care services from a community home-based care intervention; however, the effects of the intervention on health outcomes is not yet known. Therefore, we examined the impact of the intervention on mental health and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence.
We conducted an intervention study to identify the effects of a community home-based care intervention on mental health disorders, substance use, and non-adherence to ART among HIV-positive people in Nepal from March to August 2015. In total, 344 participated in the intervention and another 338 were in the control group. The intervention was comprised of home-based psychosocial support and peer counseling, adherence support, basic health care, and referral services. We measured the participants' depression, anxiety, stress, substance use, and non-adherence to ART. We applied a generalized estimating equation to examine the effects of intervention on health outcomes.
The intervention had positive effects in reducing depressive symptoms [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 0.44, p < 0.001)], anxiety (AOR = 0.54, p = 0.014), stress (β = - 3.98, p < 0.001), substance use (AOR = 0.51, p = 0.005), and non-adherence to ART (AOR = 0.62, p = 0.025) among its participants at six-month follow-up.
The intervention was effective in reducing mental health disorders, substance use, and non-adherence to ART among HIV-positive people. Community home-based care intervention can be applied in resource limited setting to improve the mental health of the HIV-positive people. Such intervention should be targeted to include more HIV-positive people in order to improve their ART adherence.
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03505866 , Released Date: April 20, 2018.