Psychological distress and symptoms among patients attending sexually transmitted infections clinic in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: The study was carried out to investigate the manifestations of psychological distress and symptoms among individuals receiving treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and to compare them with individuals who were not suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.
Methods: Patients attending the sexually transmitted disease clinic of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos were recruited for this study; while the comparison group (n=50) was made up of participants attending the outpatient clinic of the University of Lagos Medical Centre, Akoka, Lagos. The participants completed the Symptoms Distress Checklist-90 (SLC-90) and Psychophysiological Symptoms Checklist (PSC).
Results: The findings showed that 80% were males. The ages of the respondents ranged from 22 to 52 years, with a mean of 31.4 years. The participants in the study group obtained higher mean scores on interpersonal sensitivity (C), depression (D), anxiety (E) and hostility (F). The participants in the study group also had higher mean score in the PSC than those in the control group. Significant differences were found in SLC-(B) obsessive-compulsive, (E) anxiety and (F) Hostility. Of the total participants, 15 (30%) of the study group had previous STI infections when compared to 3 (6%) of the comparison group.
Conclusion: It is suggested that clinicians running the sexually transmitted diseases should screen their patients for psychological disturbances and also work with mental health experts to provide psychological services for identified patients suffering from psychological distress among those attending the STI clinic.
Keywords: Psychological reactions, sexually transmitted infections, Lagos, Nigeria