South African studies have found that country wide suicide rates are high and that people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS can have increased suicidal ideation and resultant suicide risk. In this study, we evaluated the effect of a brief psychosocial intervention on preventing suicide ideation after a positive HIV test result. Suicidal ideation was assessed by both groups of patients having to complete a suicide risk screening scale (Annexure 1). The study was conducted at a university-affiliated hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Consenting adult patients (age 18 years and older) recently diagnosed as being HIV-positive following voluntary HIV counselling and testing were enrolled in the study. Participants (N=126) were assigned to standard post-test counselling (SPTC). Thereafter, every alternate patient (N= 64) was counselled using a brief suicide preventive intervention (BSPI). Patients were assessed at baseline, 72 hours later and 6 weeks after a positive HIV test result. The balance of 62 participants who received SPTC only were the control group, and compared with the BSPI group. Although both groups benefited from post-test counselling, results from the BSPI group demonstrated a clinically significant decrease in suicidal ideation over the time period studied. The results provide preliminary evidence on the efficacy of a BSPI for recently diagnosed vulnerable HIV-positive persons and the importance of educating such patients on suicide-prevention strategies.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||African Journal of Psychiatry (South Africa)|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- Brief suicide risk screening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health