Mediating effects of social support on depression and quality of life among patients with HIV infection in Taiwan

AIDS Care. 2014;26(8):996-1003. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2013.873764. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


Few empirical studies have evaluated the mediating effects of quality of life (QoL) among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The purposes of this study were to identify the predictors of QoL and to test the mediating effects of social support on depression and QoL among patients enrolled in an HIV case-management program in Taiwan. A cross-sectional, descriptive correlation design collected data from 108 HIV-infected individuals. Individuals were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory II, the short version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL-BREF), and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support between September 2007 and April 2010. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (including age, gender, and mode of transmission) and clinical information (including CD4 count and time since diagnosis with HIV), the study findings showed that QoL was significantly and positively correlated with both social support and the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and was negatively correlated with depression and time since diagnosis with HIV. The strongest predictors for QoL were depression followed by the initiation of HAART and social support, with an R(2) of 0.40. Social support partially mediated the relationship between depression and QoL. Health professionals should enhance HIV-infected individuals' social support to alleviate the level of depression and further increase the QoL among PLWHA.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; case management; depression; quality of life; social support.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult