Unmet needs among men with human immunodeficiency virus in community mental health care: a cross-sectional study

Anna Durbin, Frank Sirotich, Tony Antoniou, Kay Roesslein, Janet Durbin, Yona Lunsky
AIDS Care 2016, 28 (7): 878-83
While community-based mental health services play an important role in caring for persons with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and co-existing mental health disorders, the extent to which their support needs are addressed in this setting is unknown. Accordingly, we examined if HIV infection was associated with unmet support needs among men living with and without HIV receiving community mental health care. This cross-sectional study examined 215 men (135 living with HIV and 80 without HIV) receiving case management services in urban Ontario. Using the Camberwell Assessment of Need, we ascertained the prevalence of support needs in 13 domains grouped into three clusters: Basic needs (accommodation, food, benefits, and money management); self-care/functional needs (daytime activities, self-care, and looking after the home); and health/safety needs (physical, psychological distress, psychotic symptoms, safety to self, and safety to others). We used generalized estimating equations with a logit link to examine the association between HIV and unmet need in each domain. Compared to HIV-negative men, men with HIV were more likely to have mood and concurrent disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Following multivariable analyses, men with HIV had greater unmet needs related to food (odds ratio + 95% confidence interval: 9.36 (4.03, 21.75), p < 0.001); money (OR: 1.90 (1.04, 3.47), p = 0.036) [basic need domains]; psychological distress (OR: 2.39 (1.68, 3.41), p < 0.001); drug use (OR: 5.10 (2.16, 12.08) p < 0.001); and safety to self (OR: 3.35 (1.51, 7.52), p < 0.003) [health and safety domains]. Despite living in a setting with universal health insurance, men with HIV receiving community mental health support had greater unmet need in basic and health domains than HIV-negative men receiving such support. Further research is required to develop and evaluate interventions to best support community-dwelling persons with HIV and mental health disorders.


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