Original Research

Knowledge of health practitioners regarding mental health integration into human immunodeficiency virus management into primary healthcare level

Winnie B. Cele, Euphemia M. Mhlongo
Curationis | Vol 43, No 1 | a2041 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v43i1.2041 | © 2020 Winnie B. Cele, Euphemia M. Mhlongo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 2018 | Published: 20 August 2020

About the author(s)

Winnie B. Cele, School of Nursing & Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Euphemia M. Mhlongo, School of Nursing & Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Mental disorders are common among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Human immunodeficiency virus infection is associated with neurological complications, which may negatively affect antiretroviral treatment, leading to virologic as well as immunologic failure. The integration of mental healthcare services into HIV services at a primary healthcare level is vital, as this is the first contact point for most patients accessing healthcare services.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge of healthcare professionals about the integration of mental healthcare services into HIV services at a primary healthcare level.

Method: This study was a quantitative descriptive study, designed to determine the knowledge of healthcare professionals towards integrating mental healthcare services into routine services at primary healthcare centres. The purposive sampling method was employed to select the 200 healthcare professionals who participated in this study.

Results: The majority of the healthcare professionals (91%) who participated in this study had limited knowledge regarding the integration of mental healthcare services into HIV services at a primary healthcare level. Very few (9%, n = 18) had adequate knowledge about the integration of mental healthcare services into HIV services.

Conclusion: Most of the participants had limited knowledge about the subject matter. This, therefore, shows that all stakeholders involved need to implement initiatives to address this knowledge gap.


Keywords

integration; mental health; mental health care user; HIV; primary healthcare

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