Prevalence of depression and socio-demographic characteristics of HIV infected patients seen by family physicians at university of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigerian
Background information: Various studies across the world have shown that depression is of high prevalence among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and that it has lots of adverse effects on them. Diagnosis of depression among this group of people is however still very low in sub-Sahara Africa, particularly at primary care level. This was what led to this local study which determined the prevalence and socio-demographic characteristics of depression among PLWHA seen by family physicians at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) in order to sensitize the primary care physicians on importance of depression among their patients with HIV-infection so as to improve the care they provide to them.
Study design: The study was conducted as a descriptive cross-sectional hospital based study among 350 systematically randomly selected adults (18 years and above) HIV infected patients attending Family Medicine Lenti-viral clinic at UITH over a period of 6 months (October 2012- March 2013). A semi-structured questionnaire was used to determine the socio-demographic characteristics of the patients. The prevalence and severity of depression among the respondents were determined using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a depression screening tool recommended for primary care physicians. The tool was administered by the
interviewers. Data were entered and analysed using SPSS-17 software package. Chi-square and Fisher's exact test were used to determine the degree of association between variables. P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Result: About one-third (33.4%) of the respondents were depressed. Slightly above half (52.1%) of them had mild depression, 27.4% had moderate depression, 14.5% had moderately severe depression and 6.0% had extremely severe depression. There was statistically significant association between depression and: age above 47 years; not being currently married; and educational status of primary school and below.
Conclusion: A large number of HIV infected patients seen by primary care physicians are at risk of developing depression; therefore, routine screening for depression should be encouraged and incorporated into the normal care of HIV-infected patients.
Keywords: Depression prevalence, socio-demographic characteristics, HIV infected patients, family physicians, Ilorin