Changes in HIV Outcomes Following Depression Care in a Resource-Limited Setting: Results from a Pilot Study in Bamenda, Cameroon.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about how improved depression care affects HIV-related outcomes in Africa. In a sample of depressed HIV patients in a low income, sub-Saharan country, we explored how implementing measurement-based antidepressant care (MBC) affected HIV outcomes over 4 months of antidepressant treatment. METHODS: As part of a project adapting MBC for use in Cameroon, we enrolled 41 depressed HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy in a pilot study in which a depression care manager (DCM) provided an outpatient HIV clinician with evidence-based decision support for antidepressant treatment. Acute depression management was provided for the first 12 weeks, with DCM contact every 2 weeks and HIV clinician appointments every 4 weeks. We measured HIV clinical and psychiatric outcomes at 4 months. RESULTS: Participants were moderately depressed at baseline (mean Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ] score = 14.4, range 13.1, 15.6). All HIV clinical outcomes improved by four month follow-up: mean (range) CD4 count improved from 436 (2, 860) to 452 (132, 876), mean (range) log-viral load decreased from 4.02 (3.86, 4.17) to 3.15 (2.81, 3.49), the proportion with virologic suppression improved from 0% to 18%, mean (range) HIV symptoms decreased from 6.4 (5.5, 7.3) to 3.1 (2.5, 3.7), the proportion reporting good or excellent health improved from 18% to 70%, and the proportion reporting any missed ARV doses in the past month decreased from 73% to 55%. Concurrently, psychiatric measures improved. The mean (range) PHQ score decreased from 14.4 (13.1, 15.6) to 1.6 (0.8, 2.4) and 90% achieved depression remission, while mean maladaptive coping style scores decreased and mean adaptive coping scores and self-efficacy scores improved. CONCLUSION: In this pilot study of an evidence-based depression treatment intervention for HIV-infected patients in Cameroon, a number of HIV behavioral and non-behavioral health outcomes improved over 4 months of effective depression treatment. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that better depression care can lead to improved HIV outcomes.
Gaynes, BN; Pence, BW; Atashili, J; O'Donnell, JK; Njamnshi, AK; Tabenyang, ME; Arrey, CK; Whetten, R; Whetten, K; Ndumbe, P
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