The phenomenon of HIV-related psychosis in mothers and its role in mother-child attachment. (WC2012-010)


Starting date: 20/06/2011
  1. Understanding how the phenomenon of HIV associated psychosis present itself in mothers in the South African context, will bring about important implications for future therapeutic intervention, preventative measures, psycho-educational programmes and patient guidance. As this problem is faced by many; it is important to gain scientific knowledge that can set off further initiatives based on sound evidence.     
  2. Exploring how South African mothers understand and experience the symptoms of HIV associated psychosis provides the clinician with an in depth narrative of the meaning of the disorder and its effects. This is of immeasurable value as it surpasses quantitative understanding, adding to their humanistic awareness of the problem. This awareness may lead to insight into the discrepancies that exist between the patient’s understanding and experiences and that of the service provider. This in turn may alleviate frustrations felt by both, increase empathy, aid in accuracy of needs assessments, increase patient compliance and better service delivery to name but a few outcomes. 
  3. Determining the role that the diagnosis of HIV associated psychosis play in mother-infant attachment, extends the effects of the disorder to the parent-child dyad. Being able to make predictions on attachment patterns and styles enables one to implement preventative interventions that may promote the development of healthier attachments. As attachment style is likely to maintain constant throughout the child’s lifespan, these interventions are crucial.