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Article   |    
Assessment of Risk Behaviors for HIV Infection Among Psychiatric Inpatients
Jan Volavka; Jane O'Donnell; Pal Czobor; Antonio Convit; Richard Douyon; Chito Evangelista
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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The authors thank the division of retrovirology and immunology of the Department of Health of the City of New York. They also thank Michael Ford, M.D., executive director, Yves Chenier, M.D., clinical director, and the staffs of the admissions unit and the laboratory of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. Fidel Ventura, M.D., assisted with patient evaluations.

Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York 10962

University of Miami School of Medicine

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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A 13-item questionnaire was constructed to assess risk factors for HJV infection among 476 patients newly admitted over a one year period to a state psychiatric hospital in New York City. Because psychopathology can affect patients' self-reports, the validity of the instrument was established by HIV antibody tests in a subset of 352 patients. Results of the questionnaire indicated that the 352 patients were almost equally divided between the high-risk and low-risk categories. HJV seroprevalence was .6 percent among the low-risk patients, but 14.4 percent among the high-risk patients. The findings suggest that a screening program to detect HW-positive patients should be undertaken in this population, that it should be focused on the high-risk subgroup, and that the questionnaire can be used to define that subgroup. However, results of the study may not generalize to other geographic areas.

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