Methods: A computer search of the following databases was conducted to capture the meaning and processes of HIV disclosure among HIV-positive individuals:
PubMed, CINAHL and PSYCINFO. Only English language journals were used. Publication dates of the literature review ranged from 2006 to 2016. The following key
words were used: mental health symptoms, psychiatric symptoms, diagnosis, and disclosure. The Walker and Avant (2004) concept analysis model (Strategies for Theory Construction in Nursing, Pearson Prentice Hall, River, NJ, 2005) was used to guide the analysis process. The defining attributes to disclosure of information relevant to psychiatry and mental helath were explored as unique aspects to analysis of the concept.
Results: The concept analysis revealed that mental health symptoms disclosure is a process that can have positive and negative implications for the individual. This dichotomy influences the time to disclosing these symptoms and is characterized by the following attributes: self-interpretation of changes in behavior and emotions, re-experiencing symptoms, vulnerability, trust, timing, fear, expectation of change.
Conclusion: The exploration of this concept highlights the differential experiences that needs to be considered when assessing individuals with mental health concerns. The approach to mental health assessment should reflect a process of non-judgmental inquiry. The subsequent implications include the need to develop approaches that protect individual and encourage an environment receptive to early disclosure of symptoms to allow for timely treatment planning.