Prevalence and Severity of Depression among Caregivers of HIV-infected Children in Enugu, South-East Nigeria

  • Anthony Nnaemeka Ikefuna
  • Ikechukwu Frank Ogbonna
  • Marcellinus Nkpozi
  • Nneka Chioma Okoronkwo
  • Adaobi Bisi-Onyemaechi
  • Ugo Chikani


Background: HIV infection significantly increases depression risk in the caregivers of HIV‑infected children. Our study is aimed at  determining the depression prevalence and severity in caregivers of children who are infected with HIV.

Materials and Methods: This was a hospital‑based, cross‑sectional, and comparative study. Study participants who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled consecutively to achieve the calculated sample size. Their sociodemographic variables were obtained, and the Zung Self‑rating Depression Scale was used to assess the prevalence and severity of depression in the caregivers.

Results: There were 352 study participants which comprised 176 caregivers of children infected with HIV, who served as cases and 176 caregivers of HIV‑negative children, who served as controls. One hundred and fifty‑five (88.1%) of the cases were the biologic caregivers, whereas the biologic caregivers comprised of 133 (75.6%) for the controls. Furthermore, 43 (24.4%) and 133 (75.6%) of the cases were males and females, respectively, whereas 47 (26.7%) and 129 (73.3%) of the controls were, respectively, males and females. The prevalence of depression among the cases and controls was 43.2% and 6.8%, respectively (P < 0.001; odds ratio [OR]: 10.39). Among the cases with depression, 73 (47.1%) were the biological caregivers, whereas 3 (14.3%) were the nonbiological caregivers. This was statistically significant (P = 0.009; OR = 5.341). The severity of depression among the cases was mild depression (52.6%), moderate depression (30.3%), and severe depression (17.1%).

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of depression among the caregivers of children infected with HIV and the biologic caregivers of these children tend to have a higher depression burden than their nonbiologic counterparts


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613