This is a comparative study aiming to investigate quality of life (QoL) and depression in individuals diagnosed either with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), or genital warts (GW) and genital herpes (GH), in two healthcare settings, in the United Kingdom (UK) or in Greece (Gr). Using a matched-pairs design, two equalized patient samples with sexually transmitted infections (STI) were recruited: from UK (n=43) and from Greece (n=43). QoL was assessed with WHOQOL-HIV BREF for HIV patients and WHOQOL-STI BREF –a newly adapted instrument– for genital warts and genital herpes patients. Depressive symptomatology was measured by the Centre for Epidemiological Studies- Depression Scale (CES-D) along with sociodemographic data. Results indicate that in both country- healthcare settings, a high percentage of individuals diagnosed with any type of STI, reported considerable depressive symptomatology: 35.7% for UK and 41.5% for Greek participants respectively. Regarding QoL, participants in the Greek healthcare settings reported significantly lower scores in the environment domain, and even lower scores were reported by the GW/GH group, in comparison to HIV. Specifically, these groups indicated significantly lower values in the following WHOQOL-BREF environment facets: (i) physical safety and security, (ii) participation in and opportunities for recreation/leisure activities, (iii) home environment, (iv) accessibility and quality in health and social care, and (v) transport facilities. Regarding correlation of QoL and depression, regression analysis provided significant evidence for depression having a differential effect on WHOQOL-BREF QoL domains. Evidence of increased depressive symptomatology in both STI patient- cohorts may shed light into unmet healthcare needs that should be addressed by healthcare providers in UK and Greece respectively. Furthermore, all types of Greek STI participants reported lower QoL, particularly the GW/GH group, indicating important unmet QoL needs in the environment domain, such as health and social care accessibility and quality, or environmental and social resources, all lowering everyday QoL. The present findings may provide guidelines for tailored mental health interventions alleviating depressive symptomatology in STI patients. Provision of targeted-interventions at healthcare and social-environmental levels will contribute to QoL/ health improvement in STI patients.

Key words: Quality of life, depression, WHOQOL-HIV BREF, WHOQOL-STI BREF, chronic sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV/AIDS.

M. Ginieri-Coccossis, E. Triantafillou, N.Papanikolaou, R. Baker, C. Antoniou, S.M. Skevington, G.N. Christodoulou (page 209)

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