Depression, death anxiety, and hope among female caregivers of children with HIV/AIDS

Enrique Gular, Fordham University


This study examined depression, death anxiety and hope among pediatric HIV caregivers. One hundred and seven female caregivers of children with HIV/AIDS were interviewed in a pediatric clinic at a large metropolitan hospital. Caregivers were given the Beck Depression Inventory, Templer's Death Anxiety Scale, Herth Hope Index, and a demographic questionnaire. Anonymous HIV testing was offered, and HIV status was documented for all but twenty four of the participants. Data was analyzed for the entire sample, and for subgroups divided on the basis of serostatus. Overall, caregivers were minimally depressed. HIV+ caregivers had higher levels of depression, but still were only mildly to moderately depressed. Depression was positively correlated with death anxiety, and negatively correlated with hope. Death anxiety was higher in HIV+ than in HIV- caregivers, and higher than the female normed mean. Death anxiety was negatively correlated with hope and denial of gravity of illness. Surprisingly, hope in the entire sample was higher than the normed mean, and, contrary to expectations, HIV+ and HIV- hope levels were similar. Multiple regression analyses of demographic and specific study variables indicated that depression was primarily predicted by hope and caregiver age; death anxiety was predicted by depression and hope; and hope was predicted by depression and death anxiety. Implications of these findings were discussed, and recommendations for future research were made.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Gular, Enrique, "Depression, death anxiety, and hope among female caregivers of children with HIV/AIDS" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530029.