Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore factors that may influence mental health status of HIV-infected patients, and to figure out a method that could effectively classify the patients by evaluating the severity of their mental health problems.
Methods: Eighty-five patients were recruited and divided into two groups: the low risk group (LRG, n = 38) and the high risk group (HRG, n = 47). All patients finished Symptom Check-List 90 Revised (SCL-90-R) which is a multidimensional questionnaire designed to screen for a broad range of psychological problems.
Results: SCL-90-R scores of HRG were significantly higher than those of the general population and did not differ from those of psychosomatic outpatients. Scores of LRG were significantly lower than those of psychosomatic outpatients and did not differ from those of the general population in most subscales. HIV-infected men having sex with men and unemployed patients had much higher incidence of mental health problems.
Conclusion: Besides undistinguishable group psychotherapy, we call for a clinical screening by psychological questionnaires at the first step, and then at-risk or high-risk patients should be given corresponding and individualized treatments. More attention and health care should be given to HIV-infected men who have sex with men and unemployed patients.