The Prevalence of Depression among patients and its detection by Primary Health Care Workers at Matawale Health Centre (Zomba)
Little information is available on the prevalence of depression in Malawi in primary health care settings and yet there is increased number of cases of depression presenting at tertiary level in severe form.
The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of depression among patients and its detection by health care workers at a primary health care clinic in Zomba.
A cross-sectional survey was done among patients attending outpatient department at Matawale Health Centre, in Zomba from 1st July 2009 through to 31st July 2009. A total of 350 adults were randomly selected using systematic sampling. The “Self Reporting Questionnaire”, a questionnaire measuring social demographic factors and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders Non-Patient Version (SCID-NP) were administered verbally to the participants.
The prevalence of depression among the patients attending the outpatients department was found to be 30.3% while detection rate of depression by clinician was 0%.
The results revealed the magnitude of depression which is prevalent in the primary health care clinic that goes undiagnosed and unmanaged. It is therefore recommended that primary health care providers do thorough assessments to address common mental disorders especially depression and they should be educated to recognise and manage depression appropriately at primary care level.