Perceived Social Support and Its Association with Depression Among Patients Infected with HIV: A Hospital Based Study in Jos, Nigeria
International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science
Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2019, Pages: 68-75
Received: Apr. 20, 2019; Accepted: May 28, 2019; Published: Jun. 10, 2019
Views 619      Downloads 237
Halima Mwuese Sule, Department of Family Medicine, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
Mark Davou Gyang, Department of Family Medicine, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
Michael Terkura Agbir, Department of Psychiatry, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
Kingsley Mayowa Okonoda, Department of Psychiatry, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
The chronicity of HIV infection predisposes the infected to mental health problems such as depression that demand a need for social support. The perception of social support is key to its beneficial effects. This study aimed to assess the level of perceived social support and its association with depression among patients infected with HIV in a hospital in Jos, Nigeria. In a cross-sectional study, 386 participants selected by systematic random sampling were interviewed to obtain their sociodemographic information, and they were assessed for perceived social support and depression using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the PHQ-9 Questionnaire respectively. Data was analysed using Epi info version 7. Half the proportion of participants (50.5%) had a moderate level of perceived social support, while 39.9% and 9.6% had low and high levels of perceived social support respectively. Female gender, age ≥ 45 years, absence of a history of being affiliated with a HIV support group, low educational status, low income, unemployment and shorter duration of known HIV diagnosis were negatively associated with lower levels of perceived social support. The prevalence of depression was 32.6%, and lower levels of perceived social support were significantly associated with depression. The results suggest gaps in the social support needs of the participants. This highlights a need for interventions aimed at improving the perception of social support among people living with HIV. Further studies are needed to identify those unmet needs so as to device strategies to address them in order to close the gaps in perception and enhance mental health in HIV care.
Perceived Social Support, Depression, HIV
To cite this article
Halima Mwuese Sule, Mark Davou Gyang, Michael Terkura Agbir, Kingsley Mayowa Okonoda, Perceived Social Support and Its Association with Depression Among Patients Infected with HIV: A Hospital Based Study in Jos, Nigeria, International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2019, pp. 68-75. doi: 10.11648/j.ijhpebs.20190501.19
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UNAIDS. Global HIV & AIDS statistics – 2018 fact sheet. Available from: [Last accessed February 23, 2019].
Rabkin JG. HIV and Depression: 2008 review and update. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2008; 5 (4): 163-71.
Brandt R. The mental health of people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa: a systematic review. Afr J AIDS Res. 2009; 8 (2): 123-33.
Valente SM. Depression and HIV disease. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2003; 14 (2): 41-51.
WHO 2018. Depression. Available from: [Last accessed November 17, 2018].
Beka K, Shaka N. The relationship between perceived social support and psychological well-being among HIV/AIDS patients. J Edu Soc Behav Sci. 2018; 26 (3): 1-11
Seeman T. Social Support. McArthur Research Network on SES & Health. Available from: [Last accessed on February 24, 2019]
McDowell TL, Serovich JM. The effect of perceived and actual social support on the mental health of HIV-positive persons. AIDS Care. 2007; 19 (10): 1223-1229.
Stewart RC, Umar E, Tomenson B, Creed F. Validation of the multidimentional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS) and the relationship between social support, intimate partner violence and antenatal depression in Malawi. BMC Psych. 2014; 14: 180.
Wang X, Cai L, Qian J, Peng J. Social support moderates stress effects on depression. Int J Ment Healt Sys. 2014; 8: 41.
Ates B. Percieved social support and assertiveness as a predictor of psychological counselors’ psychological well-being. Int Ed Stud. 2016; 9 (5): 28-39.
Roohafza HR, Afshar H, Keshteli AH, Mohammedi N, Faizi A et al. What’s the role of perceived social support and coping styles in depression and anxiety? J Res Med Sci. 2014; 19 (10): 944-949.
Zimet GD, Dahlem NW, Zimet SG, Faley GK. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. J Per Ass. 1988; 52: 30-41.
Rao D, Chen W, Pearson CR, Simoni JM, Fredriksen-Goldsen K. Nelson K. Zhao H et al. Social support mediates the relationship between HIV stigma and depression/quality of life among people living with HIV in Beijing, China. Int JSTD AIDS. 2012; 23 (7): 481-484.
Terence CE, Sidi H, Choy KK, Mahadevan R. Prevavalence of depressive disorder and its association with percieved social support among patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban (HTJS), Malaysia. As J Psychiatr. 2017; 18 (1):
Alemu H, Haile MD, Tsui A, Ahmed S, Shewamare A. Effect of depressive symptoms and social support on weight and CD4 count increase at HIV clinic in Ethiopia. AIDS Care. 2012; 24 (7): 866-876.
National Bureau of Statistics, Federal Republic of Nigeria: 2006 Population Census official Gazette FGP 71/52007/2,500 (OL24); Legal notice of the publication of the details of the breakdown of the National and State provincial totals 2006 census. Available from: [Last accessed on February 24, 2019].
NACA Nigeria. Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey, national factsheet. Available at: 9_030719-edits.pdf [Last accessed on March 23, 2019].
Jekel JF, Katz DL, Elmore JG. Sample size, randomisation and probability theory. In; Epidemiology, biostatistics and preventive medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, USA: W. B Saunders; 2001: 194-199.
Cameron IM, Crawford JR. Lawton K, Reid IC. Psychometric comparison of PHQ-9 and HADS for measuring depression severity in primary care. Br J Gen Pract. 2008; 58 (546): 32-6.
Gohain Z, Halliday M. Internalized HIV-stigma, mental health, coping and perceived social support among people living with HIV/AIDS in Aizawl district- A pilot study. Psychol. 2014; 5: 1794-1812.
Folasire OF, Akinyemi O, Owoaje E. Perceived social support among HIV positive and HIV negative people in Ibadan, Nigeria. WJA. 2014; 4: 15-26.
Lifson AR, Workneh S, Hailemichael A, Demmissie W, Slater L et al. Perceived social support among HIV patients newly enrolled in care in rural Ethiopia. AIDS Care. 2015; 27 (11): 1382 – 1386.
Chikezie UE, Otakpor AN, Kuteyi OB, James BO. Depression among people living with human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in Benin City, Nigeria: A comparative study. Niger J Clin Pract. 2013; 16: 238-42.
Mohammed M, Mengistie B, Dessie Y, Godana W. Prevalence of depression and Associated Factors among HIV Patients Seeking Treatments in ART Clinics at Harar Town, Eastern Ethiopia. J AIDS Clin Res. 2015; 6: 474.
Do AN, Rosenberg ES, Sullivan PS, Beer L, Strine TW, Schulden JD, Fagan JL et al. Excess Burden of Depression among HIV-Infected Persons Receiving Medical Care in the United States: Data from the Medical Monitoring Project and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9: e92842.
Matsumoto S, Yamaoka K, Takahashi K, Tanuma J, Mizushima D, Duy Do C, Nguyen DT et al. Social support as a key protective factor against depression in HIV-infected patients: Report from large clinics in Hanoi, Vietnam. Sci Rep. 2017; 7 (1): 15489.
Vyavaharhar M, Moneyham L, Corwin S, Tavakoli A, Saunders R, Annang L. HIV disclosure, social support and depression among HIV-infected African American women living in the rural southeastern United states. AIDS Ed Prev. 2011; 23 (1): 78-90.
Shrestha S, Poudel KC, Poudel-Tandukar K, Kobayashi J, Pandey BD, Yasuoka J, Otsuka K, Jimba M. Perceived family support and depression among people living with HIV/AIDS in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. J Int Assoc Prov AIDS Care. 2014; 13 (3) 214-222.
Yadav S. Perceived social support, hope, and quality of lifeof persons living with HIV/AIDS: a case study from Nepal. Qual Life Res. 2010; 19 (2): 157-66
Ramiro MT, Teva I, Bermudez MP, Buela-Casal G. Social support, self-esteem and depression: Relationship with risk for sexually transmitted infections/HIV transmission. Int J Clin Healt Psych. 2013; 13: 181-188.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186