Greener Journal of Medical Sciences

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Shekmnesh et al

Greener Journal of  Medical Sciences Vol. 3 (7), pp. 260-269, September 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7797  

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 080913776


Prevalence of Psychological Distress and Associated Factors among AIDS Orphan Adolescents in Mekelle City, Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: Cross Sectional Study


 1Shekmnesh Asfawesen, 2Alemseged Aregay,

*3Hailemariam Berhe


 1Department of Nursing, SOS College of Health Sciences,  Mekelle, Ethiopia.

2,3Department of Nursing, College of health sciences, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia.


Email: 1Shekyf @, 2alex_aregay @


*Corresponding Author’s Email: Aidhbk @ gmail. com


Back ground: Various studies have reported that loss of one or both parents to AIDS confronts children with immense psychological and social problems and this forces them to employ various coping mechanisms to overcome the problems they encounter in their day to day lives. Consequently, the psychological well-being of these children has become a serious concern. 
Objectives: To assess the factors associated with psychological distress of AIDS orphan adolescent’s in Mekelle city, Tigray, Ethiopia. 
Methods: Institution based cross-sectional study design was used. Two hundred and ninety three subjects were included in this study between 10-19 age groups. Data was collected using a pretested interviewer-administered structured questionnaire and scales including Hamilton-Anxiety Depression and Rosenberg’s rating scale were used to measure the orphans’ level of depression, anxiety and self-esteem. 
Result: Among the study participants, 74 (25.3%) orphan adolescents were depressed in the week before the survey. Moreover, 52 (17.7%) orphan adolescents where anxious. Self esteem and employment opportunity were the main variables associated with depression and anxiety.
Conclusion: Orphan adolescents are having psychological problems and may be particularly vulnerable group that can affect their present and future life. Thus, a more focused and concerted effort is needed to improve their mental health, Care givers of orphan adolescents, in addition to providing material support such as educational materials, medical and food, further studies should be made to compare the psychological health of AIDS, non-AIDS and non-orphan adolescents. Generally, this study contributes to our understanding of how children respond to parental death. 

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, orphans, psychological distress, depression, anxiety, stress, self esteem.

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