ObjectivesHaving effective ways to cope helps HIV-infected individuals maintain good psychological and physical well-being. This study investigated the relationship between coping self-efficacy levels, as determined by the Coping Self-Efficacy Scale (CSE), HIV status disclosure, and depression in a Danish cohort.
MethodsIn 2008, the CSE was administered to 304 HIV-infected individuals to measure their confidence in their ability to cope with HIV infection. HIV status disclosure was assessed on a three-point scale: living openly with the disease, partly openly, or secretly. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depression prevalence and severity.
ResultsThe CSE score was significantly related to depression (Spearman's rho = -0.71; the test of H0: BDI and coping, probability >t=0.0001). There was a significant relationship between higher CSE scores and living openly with HIV. The risk of depression was four times higher in HIV-infected individuals who did not disclose their HIV status (i.e. who lived 'secretly'; odds ratio = 4.1) than in individuals who lived openly.
ConclusionThose with low CSE scores were more likely to report living secretly with HIV and to be depressed. Disclosing HIV may constitute a social stressor, and a lack of coping self-efficacy may increase the likelihood of non-disclosure and depression. Interventions that enhance self-efficacy may help in managing the demands of daily life with HIV, increase disclosure, and reduce depression.