Psychoeducational interventions for people living with chronic communicable disease: A systematic review


OBJECTIVE: Psychoeducation is increasingly recognised for its value in facilitating adaption to a chronic disease diagnosis. This study aimed to synthesise available literature on the psychoeducation interventions available to adults living with chronic communicable disease. METHODS: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, SocINDEX, PsycINFO and PsycArticles were systematically searched up to May 2023. Peer-reviewed studies, published in English, investigating the impact of psychoeducational interventions on adults living with chronic communicable disease were included, across a range of outcome measures. Narrative synthesis was performed. The Effective Public Health Practice Project tool and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool were used to assess risk of bias. RESULTS: In total, 22 studies were included in the review. The majority (n=16) of study populations focused on people living with HIV, followed by hepatitis C (n=5) and genital herpes (n=1). Interventions were delivered online (n=2), via telephone (n=1) and in-person (n=19). The majority of interventions were delivered in group sessions (n=16) and studies emphasised the value of group cohesion for social support, encouraging participants to share their own knowledge in addition to standard didactic presentations. Four studies facilitated peer-led delivery of the psychoeducation. Studies aiming to improve psychological well-being were beneficial in reducing depressive symptoms and/or emotional distress or showed improvement in the participant group overall. There was some evidence to suggest psychoeducation can improve readiness to attend treatment and medication adherence. CONCLUSION: The findings of this review highlight potential benefits of psychoeducation but indicate more robust clinical trials will be required to examine their effectiveness and elucidate the mechanisms by which they best operate. Future interventions incorporating a broader focus on resilience enhancement and coping skills specific to stigmatisation could more comprehensively serve the needs of adults living with chronic communicable disease, particularly with HIV. The role of peer support in group psychoeducation merits further exploration.


Burke A, Davoren MP, Arensman E, Harrington JM




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Education
    • Social support
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Mental Health
    • Depression
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C
    • Other
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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