Implementation of a Nurse-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adherence and Depression of People Living with HIV in Korea

Jung Ho Kim, Ji Min Kim, Misuk Ye, Jung In Lee, Seungmi Na, Youngjoon Lee, Duncan Short, Jun Yong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cognitive behavioral therapy for adherence and depression (CBT-AD) performed by clinical psychologists is an effective treatment for improving the depression in people living with HIV (PLWH). However, because access to clinical psychologists is limited in most clinics, CBT-AD is rarely performed for PLWH in Korea. This pilot study evaluates whether CBT-AD can be effectively performed by a nurse trained and supervised by a clinical psychologist, with a view to the wider provision of CBT-AD. Materials and Methods: One clinical psychologist developed manuals, educated and supervised one nurse. PLWH with depression or adherence to self-reported antiretroviral therapy <90% were enrolled, and CBT-AD was conducted once weekly for 12 sessions. PLWH were assessed for adherence by visual analog scale, Beck depression inventory (BDI) for depression, PozQoL for quality of life, and Berger’s 40-item stigma scale for stigma at baseline, after the 6th, 12th session, at 4-, and 8-months after CBT-AD. Acceptability for PLWH and feasibility for providers were evaluated through surveys. Results: Five male PLWH have completed the study protocols (mean age 29.2 years). All study participants showed improving depression (mean BDI at baseline 33.0 ± 7.0, and after the 12th session 13.4 ± 3.5), and the effect was maintained at the 8-month follow-up (BDI 15.4 ± 6.4). Quality of life showed a tendency to improve (mean PozQoL at baseline 28.0 ± 7.7, after 12th session 36.8 ± 4.4, and at the 8-month follow-up 38.2 ± 7.9), but stigma did not show clear improvement (Berger’s 40-item stigma scale at baseline 121.0 ± 3.9, after 12th session 107.6 ± 8.8. and at the 8-month follow-up 107.6 ± 5.0). All study participants received great help from CBT-AD and expressed their desire to continue. All providers agreed that nurse-delivered CBT-AD could be implemented in routine clinical practice. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a nurse-delivered CBT-AD could be feasible and acceptable for PLWH through structured interventions. It has been shown to have the potential to help PLWH, especially for their depression and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by ViiV Healthcare (ViiV Implementation Science Program, eTrack 210029).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by The Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Korean Society for Antimicrobial Therapy, and The Korean Society for AIDS.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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