Breaking HIV News to Clients: SPIKES Strategy in Post-Test Counseling Session
Breaking bad news is one of the most burdensome tasks physicians face in their everyday practice. It becomes even more challenging in the context of HIV+ patients because of stigma and discrimination. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the quality of giving HIV seroconversion news according to SPIKES protocol. Numbers of 154 consecutive HIV+ patients from Imam Khomeini Hospital testing and counseling center were enrolled in this study. Patients were inquired about how they were given the HIV news and whether or not they received pre- and post-test counseling sessions. Around 51% of them were men, 80% had high school education, and 56% were employed. Regarding marital status, 32% were single, and 52% were married at the time of the interview. Among them, 31% had received the HIV news in a counseling center, and only 29% had pre-test counseling. SPIKES criteria were significantly met when the HIV news was given in an HIV counseling and testing center (P.value<0.05). Low coverage of HIV counseling services was observed in the study. SPIKES criteria were significantly met when the HIV seroconversion news was given in a counseling center. The need to further train staff to deliver HIV news seems a priority in the field of HIV care and treatment.
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