Psychosocial well-being and quality of life among women newly diagnosed with genital herpes

Hayley Mark, Lisa Gilbert, Joy Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the psychosocial well-being and quality of life among women with a new genital herpes simplex virus diagnosis. Design: Data were collected by a cross-sectional survey. Participants: Eighty-three women diagnosed with genital herpes simplex virus by culture, visual exam and/or a description of symptoms within the last 3 months were recruited from primary health care clinics by their provider. Measures: Participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Recurrent Genital Herpes Quality of Life scale. Results: Thirty-four percent of the women qualified as "clinical cases" for depression, and 64% were designated as "anxiety cases" based on Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scoring methods. A majority of participants reported feeling ashamed about having herpes and worried about having an outbreak or giving herpes to someone else. Conclusions: Despite substantial progress toward understanding genital herpes simplex virus epidemiology and transmission, a diagnosis of genital herpes continues to cause considerable psychosocial morbidity and to impact quality of life. There is a dearth of good evidence on how best to intervene to minimize the psychological impact of a diagnosis. Experts recommend addressing both the medical and psychological aspects of infection by providing antiviral therapy, written material, and resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Herpes
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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