Factors associated with psychological help-seeking in HIV disease

Costanzo Gala, Andrea Pergami, Jose Catalan, Massimo Riccio, Federico Durbano, Daniele Zanello, Massimo Musicco, Giordano Invernizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study was aimed at evaluating the psychosocial and psychopathological characteristics of individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection seeking psychological help compared with a sample not seeking help. Two hundred and seventy-one HIV seropositive (HIV + ve) subjects belongings to three transmission categories (90 gay men, 154 intravenous drug users and 27 heterosexuals) who were assessed at their first clinic appointment and offered access to psychological help were studied. Subsequently, it was found that 45 (17%) took advantage of the offer of psychological help, and attended a specialist clinic, while 226 (83%) did not seek help. Stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to establish the characteristics of subjects who recieved psychological help. Results showed that five factors identified at the time of first clinic appointment were significantly associated with seeking psychological help subsequently: (1) having a current DSM-III-R Axis I psychiatric diagnosis; (2) being single; (3) belief of being affected by a serious physical illness (negative correlation); (4) higher level of education; and (5) no past or current history of substance misuse. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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