Psychological interventions for common mental disorders for people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries: Systematic review


OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of structured psychological interventions against common mental disorders (CMD) in people living with HIV infection (PLWH), in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). METHODS: Systematic review of psychological interventions for CMD from LMIC for PLWH, with two-stage screening carried out independently by 2 authors. RESULTS: Of 190 studies, 5 met inclusion criteria. These were randomised-controlled trials based on the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and were effective in reducing CMD symptoms in PLWH. Follow-up of study participants ranged from 6 weeks to 12 months with multiple tools utilised to measure the primary outcome. Four studies showed a high risk of bias, while 1 study from Iran met low risk of bias in all 6 domains of the Cochrane risk of bias tool and all 22 items of the CONSORT instrument. CONCLUSION: There is a need for more robust and adequately powered studies to further explore CBT-based interventions in PLWH. Future studies should report on components of the psychological interventions, fidelity measurement and training, including supervision of delivering agents, particularly where lay health workers are the delivering agent.


Chibanda D, Cowan FM, Healy JL, Abas M, Lund C.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Mental Health
    • Depression
    • Neurocognitive disorders
    • Psychiatric disorders


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