The Burden of Psychological Symptoms in Gynaecological Conditions among Women in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
Background: There is an increasing evidence of significant psychological symptoms (anxiety and depression) among a large percentage of women with gynaecological conditions. These symptoms are often neglected in the course of management of physical problems, thus leading to an increased morbidity and unresolved primary presenting complaints in the clinics. Aim: The objectives of the study were: 1. To screen the women attending gynaecological clinic for anxiety and depression. 2. To determine the sociodemographic characteristics of the women. 3. To compare the findings with previous studies. Methods: Three hundred and sixty eight women with gynaecological conditions were randomly screened for psychological symptoms (anxiety and depression) at the gynaecological outpatient clinic of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), between May and July 2006. Results: Data from 321 (87.2%) women who completed the questionnaires were analyzed. Majority of the women were aged between 20-39 years, with a mean age of 29.9± 10.3 years; 46.7% of them were either separated, divorced or widowed, while 15.5% were single. Ninety seven (30.2%) and fifty five (17.1%) of them scored high on the anxiety and depression subscales respectively. Forty five (46.4%) of the 97 women had mild anxiety, 33 (34.0%) had moderate anxiety while 19 (19.6%) had severe anxiety. Similarly, 28 (50.9%) of 55 women had mild depression, 19 (34.5%) had moderate depression while 8 (14.6%) had severe depression. Conclusion: The results of this study show that women with gynaecological conditions suffer additional psychological symptoms of anxiety and depression. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach aimed at detecting and treating these conditions is necessary for the management of women with physical symptoms.
Keywords: Burden; Psychological Symptoms; Women; Gynaecological condition
Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 6 (1) 2008: pp. 21-25