The Benefits of Psychosocial Interventions for Mental Health in People Living with HIV: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Publication Type:

Journal Article


AIDS and Behavior (2017)




HIV  Psychosocial intervention; Mental health; Depression; Meta-analysis


In this systematic review and meta-analysis we
investigated the effectiveness of different psychosocial
treatments for people living with HIV (PLWH) and mental
health problems. Additionally, characteristics that may
influence the effectiveness of a treatment (e.g., treatment
duration) were studied. PubMed, PsycINFO and Embase
were searched for randomized controlled trials on psychosocial
interventions for PLWH. Depression, anxiety,
quality of life, and psychological well-being were investigated
as treatment outcome measures. Sixty-two studies
were included in the meta-analysis. It was found that
psychosocial interventions for PLWH had a small positive
effect on mental health (gˆ = 0.19, 95% CI [0.13, 0.25]).
Furthermore, there was evidence for publication bias. Six
characteristics influenced the effectiveness of a treatment
for depression. For example, larger effects were found for
studies with psychologists as treatment providers. To
conclude, this systematic review and meta-analysis suggests
that psychosocial interventions have a beneficial
effect for PLWH with mental health problems.