Screening for psychological morbidity in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected pregnant women using community counselors in Zimbabwe

Lynda Stranix-Chibanda, Dixon Chibanda, Albert Chingono, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jennifer Wells, Yvonne Maldonado, Tsungai Chipato, Avinash K. Shetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the prevalence of psychological morbidity in HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women seeking antenatal care in Zimbabwe. Methods: Pregnant women were screened for psychological morbidity at the initial antenatal care visit using the 14-item Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ) before voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT). The primary outcome measure was "cases," as determined by a SSQ score of= 8. Demographic characteristics and HIV status were compared between cases and noncases to determine the risk factors for psychological morbidity. Results: Of the 437 participants, psychological morbidity was detected in 73 (17%) women before undergoing VCT. Risk factors for psychological morbidity included having a spouse older than 35 years of age. HIV infection by itself was not a risk factor for psychological morbidity for women. Conclusions: There is a high burden of psychological morbidity among pregnant women in Zimbabwe. Mental health services should be integrated into antenatal care to improve psychological health for all women in Zimbabwe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2005
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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