The benefits of psychosocial interventions for mental health in men who have sex with men living with HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis



Men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV are more likely to suffer from mental health problems. They should be given adequate attention to treat and improve their mental health disorders. This meta-analysis aimed to assess whether psychosocial interventions reliably improve psychological well-being among MSM living with HIV.


Cochrane Library, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and PubMed were searched for psychosocial intervention randomized controlled trials evaluating mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, self-efficacy). The effect size was pooled using the random-effects model, and continuous outcomes were reported using standardized mean difference (SMD) values .


A total of 12 studies including 1782 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Psychosocial interventions in contrast to control groups significantly reduced depression (SMD, − 0.28; 95% CI − 0.52 – − 0.03) at the follow-up assessment and improved quality of life (SMD 0.43, 95% CI 0.23–0.63) after treatment. Psychosocial interventions also had a significant effect on measures of self-efficacy (SMD 2.22, 95% CI 0.24–4.20), and this effect was sustained until long-term follow-up (SMD 0.55, 95% CI 0.02–1.08). Subgroup analyses revealed that improvements in depression were more significant when participants possessed higher education and treatment providers used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).


The findings of this study indicate that psychosocial interventions benefit the mental health of MSM living with HIV. It is necessary to conduct more research to explore characteristics that may affect treatment outcomes in the future.


Yu Y, Wang X, Wu Y, Weng W, Zhang M, Li J, Huang X, Gao Y




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV+ population
  • Mental Health
    • Depression
    • Other


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