Study of Psychopathology among Perinatally Acquired Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Children in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in Kolkata, West Bengal

Bappaditya Chowdhury, Sucharita Maji, Malay Kumar Ghosal, Subhasish Bhattacharyya

Abstract


Background: The threat of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is still one of the important health problems in developing countries like India, and the magnitude of problem of HIV-infected children is also of major concern in recent years. HIV infection in children has been transformed from an acute to a chronic illness after the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Studies have reported high prevalence of psychopathology in HIV-infected children but data on Indian children are very few. The objective of the study was to find out the magnitude of problem of psychopathology among perinatally acquired clinically stable HIV-infected children and to determine the association of psychopathology with various clinical and sociodemographic factors. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 153 children at Paediatric ART Clinic of Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, from July 2016 to June 2017. Clinicosocial and demographic profile collected on pretested proforma. Psychological profile was assessed using Developmental Psychopathology Checklist. Results: Out of 153, 69 (45.1%) children screened positive for the presence of psychopathology. The presence of psychopathology has been found to be significantly associated with age (P < 0.000001), CD4+ count (P = 0.0000) caregiver in family other than mother (P < 0.0015), whether mother died (P < 0.00001), and whether father died (P < 0.00007). No significant association found between genders, hailing background (rural or urban area), whether receiving ART or not. Conclusion: Clinically stable HIV-infected children have high prevalence of psychopathology with significant association with different clinicosocial and demographic factors. Considering better survival comprehensive management needs integrated therapeutic approach incorporating both medical and psychiatric services along with the improvement of psychosocial environment.

Key words: Psychopathology, perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus-infected children, tertiary care teaching hospital


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