Caregiver mental health and HIV-infected child wellness: perspectives from Ugandan caregivers

S. M. Murray, I. Familiar, N. Nakasujja, P. J. Winch, J. J. Gallo, R. Opoka, J. O. Caesar, M. J. Boivin, J. K. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Prior studies indicate a substantial link between maternal depression and early child health but give limited consideration to the direction of this relationship or the context in which it occurs. We sought to create a contextually informed conceptual framework of this relationship through semi-structured interviews with women that had lived experience of caring for an HIV-infected child while coping with depression and anxiety symptoms. Caregivers explained their role in raising healthy children as complex and complicated by poverty, stigma, and isolation. Caregivers discussed the effects of their own mental health on child well-being as primarily emotional and behavioral, and explained how looking after a child could bring distress, particularly when unable to provide desired care for sick children. Our findings suggest the need for investigation of the reciprocal effects of child sickness on caregiver wellness and for integrated programs that holistically address the needs of HIV-affected families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-799
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2017


  • HIV
  • Uganda
  • child health
  • mental health
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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