Nigerian Health Journal

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Depression among Patients with Parkinson's Disease in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital

Olaitan Christiana Okunoye, God'spower Eshiofe Asekomeh


Background There is increasing evidence that Parkinson's disease (PD) can cause depression. This dimension has not been sufficiently studied particularly among Nigerian Africans. Our aim was to  determine the frequency and severity of depression among patients with PD and to compare this with their healthy counterparts.

Methods 36 conservative patients with a clinical diagnosis of PD had the Beck Depression Inventory-Il administered to them. A structured questionnaire interview and a neurological examination including the Hoehn and Yahr stage of illness scale and the motor section of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale were performed. An equal number of age and sex matched controls were also recruited for the study.

Results Of the 36 PD patients, 83.3% had persistently low mood. Based on their Beck Depression Inventory score, 25% had mild depression, 18% had moderate depression and 16.7% had severe depression. Depression was worse with disease severity.

Conclusion Patients with PD had a higher frequency of depression compared to their healthy counterparts. A multidisciplinary approach to the management of PD that includes depression-reducing interventions is required for this population of patients.

Keywords: Depression, Parkinson's disease, BDI-II

AJOL African Journals Online