Major Depression in Patients with AIDS and Substance Abuse – Depression Example

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"Major Depression in Patients with AIDS and Substance Abuse" is a well-written example of a paper on depression. The relationship between HIV/ AIDS and depression is visible and affects many patients with the disease. In their study, Major Depression in Patients with HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse, Berger and co-authors attempted to reveal the relationship between the illness and depression. The critique below analyzes several sections of the paper and compares the presentation of the sections against the standards of a good quantitative study. The paper focuses on the problem statement, data collection, protection of human participants, methods of data analysis, and results. Problem Statement The problem statement for the study is concerned with how stress and depression among HIV/AIDS patients affect their health and also their responsiveness towards HIV medication such as antiretroviral drugs.

The statement implies that there has been a knowledge gap in understanding why some patients may respond better than others while using the same medication, with other factors constant. The authors cite a lot of studies that widens the scope of the study. Introducing aspects such as mutation of HIV requires extensive explanations, which would ideally be a topic for a new study.

Moreover, introducing many concepts around the research problem would complicate data collection and also the generalizations of the study. Data Collection The study used an experimental design to collect data. Questionnaires and interviews were conducted with a selected sample. The study clearly describes the rationale for selecting the individuals in the sample. However, it does not offer an explanation of how a decision to include participants from the VA and a normal hospital was made. A reader would assume that it was a convenient sample for the study, yet there are no explanations or defined attributes of a convenience sample. The authors provide a detailed explanation of the data collection process.

The authors explain the wide usage of SCID and BDII tools. The tools are very effective in extracting information from patients suffering from depression. However, the authors do not mention the various weaknesses of these tools. For example, the SCID is complex and takes a lot of time to administer. So, the author ought to explain how the schedule of the study would be affected by such a tool. Protection of Human Participants The study relied on humans as a source of data.

It states that the persons who passed the inclusion criteria were notified and signed the consent form. Consent forms were prepared to get the acknowledgment of the participants that they agree to be used as specimens and allow the study to use their data to make generalizations. The study is deficient in information on the details of the consent forms. The consent forms must include the people allowed to view and use the results (Holzemer, 2009). The study does not include any trial medications or induce anything that could affect the health of the participants.

The study collected data from the patient’ s perspective. The situation means that the health of the patients was not compromised in the process of data collection. Privacy of data is not discussed in the study. It is important to outline the measures that would ensure that data would be used for the study only and would not be disclosed to third parties (Tappen, 2010). Moreover, the study does not offer an explanation to which standards it adheres to that offer guideline for the protection of human participants. Data Analysis Data are presented in tabular form.

The severity of parameters is expressed in percentages. The study used frequency statistics to extract the data from the questionnaires. The results were further enhanced by determining the correlations between the levels of depression and adherence. The study also used analysis of variance to determine how gender and ethnicity affect depression arising from HIV/AIDS. The methods are consistent with the research problem as they seek to relate depression and the severity of HIV/AIDS. Results analysis using ANOVA showed that gender and ethnic differences have no significant influence on depression and HIV/AIDS.

The results imply that depression affects HIV/AIDS patients across the gender and ethnic divide. This method proves the validity of the results by nullifying gender and ethnic bias. Correlation analysis describes the severity of depression on the patients’ health. The method shows how levels of depression directly affect the health of HIV patients. The correlation method is ideal for the study and helps in fulfilling the objectives of the study.

Correlation is important in explaining the relationship between two or more variables, the direction of the effect, and also the magnitude of such a relationship. Quality of Study The authors are keen to note that several aspects of SCID were not considered in the selection of the participants. It is worth noting that omitting aspects of an established tool can affect the results of a study. The assumption that a participant who met the rationale for MDD would not meet the criteria of the other modules is not grounded on facts.

When the internal validity of the assessment is affected, the credibility of the conclusion is questionable (Tappen, 2010). The findings imply that ARVs are not effective in addressing the HIV problem. It implies that nurses must consider extraneous factors such as patient mental status to assess the effectiveness of the medication. The study implies that established medical processes regarding HIV are not sufficient, but also counseling should be integrated into controlling HIV/AIDS. The study relies on data from the questionnaires and interviews. Analysis of data from the questionnaires provides a first-hand approach to answering the research questions.

However, the study lacks various necessary aspects such as ethical declarations and conflict of interest. These are crucial elements that determine the validity of the study. Implications for Practice and Future Research The findings prove that there is a significant association between depression and resistance to HIV and substance abuse. However, the study does not outline vividly how the research conclusion will affect the nursing practice. There are no suggestions on how nursing processes can be adjusted to enhance the responsiveness of HIV patients to ARVs by reducing the effect of MDD. Despite the lack of information on changes in the nursing process, the study outlines the recommendation for future studies.

The study is successful in proving that depression can greatly affect responsiveness to HIV medication. In this regard, there needs to be a study of the ways that can be used to reduce the prevalence of MDD in HIV/AIDS patients. A good study must outline some of the research gaps that can be addressed by future studies. Conclusion The relationship between depressions in HIV/AIDS patients and responsiveness to medication is explained in detail.

The findings will explain why HIV/AIDS patients respond to medication differently. It will also help nurses conduct additional tests to identify the mental status of patients. The study satisfies the research questions and addresses the problem efficiently using a quantitative approach. The critique analyzed each section and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each section.


Berger-Greenstein, J., Cuevas, C., Brady, S., Trezza, G., Richardson, M., & Keane, T. (2007). Major depression in patients with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. AIDS Patient Care & Stds, 21(12), 942-955.

Holzemer, W. L. (2009). Improving health through nursing research. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Tappen, R. M. (2010). Advanced nursing research: From theory to practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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