Psychiatric comorbidity among hospitalized AIDS patients vs. non-AIDS patients referred for psychiatric consultation
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Referral and Consultation
Data were collected on 3,420 psychiatric consultations from July 1, 1989, to January 1, 1994, of which 675 were for patients identified as infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Comparisons of psychiatric comorbidity among persons with AIDS (PWAs), HIV+ asymptomatic patients, and non-HIV patients were made. Dementia was a significantly frequent comorbid diagnosis among the referred PWAs compared with the general consultation population and was related to older age. Psychiatric comorbidity among the referred HIV+ asymptomatic patients more closely resembled the general consultation population. Major depression was relatively rare among the PWAs. The authors believe that the large sample size of this study allows for an accurate representation of the psychiatric disorders found among medically ill HIV patients in an urban hospital who are referred for psychiatric consultation.