Prevalence and predictors of depression among women undergoing treatment for infertility at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital
Background: Depression is a significant form of psychological distress experienced by women suffering from infertility in our society. Itis worsened by the negative attitudes of family members, who in some cultures attribute the failure of the women to conceive, as women's problems only, while exonerating the male partners. This assumption can discourage efforts by the couple from seeking effective solution, and heighten the tension at home, thereby causing emotional responses which may lead to psychological distress like anxiety or depression among the women. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and predictors of depression among women undergoing treatment for infertility at the fertility clinics of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
Methodology: A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out on 341 women attending the UBTH fertility clinics over a 3 months period, using a semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire. A clinical diagnostic tool for depression (ZUNG's self depression assessment scale) used to diagnose and classify depression was included in the questionnaire in addition to information on demographics. The data collected was analysed using SPSS version 16.
Result: The mean age of respondents was 36 (± 5.3) years. The prevalence of depression was found to be 42.5%. Of this, 64.2%, 30.4% and 5.4% had mild, moderate and severe depression respectively. There were statistically significant associations between depression status of the respondents and the following parameters; level of education (p=0.004), duration of infertility (p=0.007), type of family (p=0.017) and parity (p=0.022).
Conclusion: The burden of depression in women with infertility is significant. It is therefore advocated that Gynecologists and other attending Physicians should look out for signs and symptoms of depression in women presenting with infertility with a view to offer them timely psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatment, promote good relationship in their homes thereby improving their quality of life and the outcome of their fertility treatment.
Keywords: Depression, evaluation, fertility clinics and infertility