Psychological symptoms among persons 50 years of age and older living with HIV disease.


Journal Article

Although persons 50 years of age and older account for 10% of all US AIDS cases, the mental health needs of this growing group remain largely overlooked. The current study delineated patterns and predictors of psychological symptoms amongst late middle-aged and older adults living with HIV/AIDS in two large US cities. In late 1998, 83 HIV-infected individuals 50-plus years of age (M = 55.2, Range = 50-69) completed self-report surveys eliciting data on psychological symptomatology, HIV-related life-stressor burden, social support, barriers to health care and social services, and sociodemographic characteristics. Based on the Beck Depression Inventory, 25% of participants reported 'moderate' or 'severe' levels of depression. HIV-infected older adults also evidenced an elevated number of symptoms characteristic of somatization. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that HIV-infected older adults who endorsed more psychological symptoms also reported more HIV-related life-stressor burden, less support from friends, and reduced access to health care and social services due to AIDS-related stigma. As the impact of HIV on older communities continues to increase, geropractitioners must be prepared to provide care to greater numbers of HIV-infected older adults, a substantial minority of whom will present with complex comorbid physical and mental health conditions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Heckman, TG; Heckman, BD; Kochman, A; Sikkema, KJ; Suhr, J; Goodkin, K

Published Date

  • May 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 121 - 128

PubMed ID

  • 12028880

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12028880

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1364-6915

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1360-7863

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13607860220126709a


  • eng