Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Psychological Distress and Psychiatric Symptoms among Patients Receiving Treatment for Tuberculosis in a Teaching Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria

AO Coker, YA Kuyinu, AS Mohammed


The association between tuberculosis and psychopathology had been variously reported. Despite the observed high global prevalence of tuberculosis, there are very few studies on its psychiatric complications in Nigeria. The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of psychological distress and psychiatric symptoms among tuberculosis patients in a teaching hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Method: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive survey. It was carried out among patients attending the chest clinic of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. One hundred and nine consecutive patients attending the clinic were administered with the General Health Questionnaire 12th version and the Symptoms Check List (SCL-90). Results: A large number of the respondents (40.7%) were between the ages 21 and 30 years old. About half of the participants suffered from somatisation, neuroticism, depression and anxiety and as regards GHQ scores, more than half (51.9%) indicated psychological distress. Likewise, the mean scores on the SCL did not differ significantly by age group of participants. There was no correlation observed between GHQ-12 score and duration of illness. Conclusion: Clinicians managing patients with tuberculosis need to be aware of symptoms of psychopathology among their patients which informs the need to screen them for psycho-pathology at the commencement of anti-tuberculosis therapy. It was however suggested that psycho-education and psychotherapy should also be carried out by clinicians managing tuberculosis patients as part of their holistic management.

Journal of Community Medicine & Primary Health vol 23 (1-2) 2011 , MAR/SEPT. 2011

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