Depression, anxiety and body deterioration in people suffering with AIDS
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This research explored the relationship between the psychological functions of anxiety and depression in patients with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and their physiological changes, specifically changes in T4 cell numbers and weight. Twenty subjects who had been diagnosed with AIDS in the last 3 years were matched for socioeconomic, demographic and health status and were studied throughout a 11 month period. Changes in levels of depression were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory and changes in anxiety were measured using the Speilberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) as well as information from the social history, personal interviews and therapy sessions. The body changes were recorded from the progress notes in medical charts and interviews with the primary physician. The subjects were interviewed biweekly and were assessed with the instruments once a month for 11 months.;The results were analyzed using repeated measures design and showed differences in the ways that the PWAs responded to the disease process. Anxiety levels remained high throughout the study; however, significant changes were found in depression and weight between as well as within subjects. T4 cell changes were evidenced between subjects.;Canonical correlations revealed negative correlations between depression and changes in T4 cell/weight variables. It was found that a higher degree of anxiety and depression correlated with rapid body deterioration and acquisition of opportunistic infections. Differences in the intensity of the psychological response correlated with changes in weight and T4 cell numbers of the PWAs studied.