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J Psychosom Res. 1998 Feb;44(2):219-27.

Disease severity, physical limitations and depression in HIV-infected men.

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  • 1HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York, USA.


Previous research has failed to identify a consistent relationship between HIV disease severity and depression. However, HIV/AIDS can lead to substantial physical limitations in those with advanced disease, which may influence mood. This study examined the extent to which HIV disease severity and physical limitations were associated with depressive symptoms in 49 HIV-infected men at the final stages of a 5-year prospective study. No differences were found in depression or quality of life among men who were asymptomatic, symptomatic, or diagnosed with AIDS. Forty-three percent of subjects reported substantial physical limitations, which were associated with higher depression scores and poorer quality of life. Degree of physical limitation predicted depression concurrently as well as depression 6 months later, after controlling for disease stage, physical symptoms, and CD4 cell counts. Findings suggest that physical limitations are more important than laboratory markers of disease progression in understanding psychological adjustment to illness in HIV-infected men.

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