Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress and Death Anxiety in Persons with HIV and Medication Adherence Difficulties

Steven A. Safren, Beth S. Gershuny, Ellen Hendriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Scopus citations


The present study examined the frequency and correlates of self-reported symptoms of posttraumatic stress among patients with HIV and medication adherence problems. Self-report data revealed that more than half of participants met diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale PDS. Death anxiety was associated with overall PTSD symptom severity scores as well as severity scores for reexperiencing, avoidance, and arousal symptoms. The association between death anxiety and total PTSD severity, reexperiencing and avoidance symptom scores remained after controlling for depression and satisfaction with social support. Anxiety, as manifested by PTSD symptoms should be routinely assessed among patients with HIV, and variables such as death anxiety, social support, and depression are appropriate targets for mental health interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS patient care and STDs
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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