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 managing of physical problems, thus leading to an increased morbidity. Aim: The objectives of the study were: (1) To screen the women attending gynaecological clinic for anxiety and depression and (2) To determine their sociodemographic variables. 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 filled the questionnaires completely were analyzed. The mean age of the women was 29.9 10.3 years. 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 with anxiety were mild, 33 (34.0%) moderate and 19 (19.6%) severe. Similarly, 28 (50.9%) of 55 women with depression were mild, 19 (34.5%) moderate and 8 (14.6%) severe. Majority of the women 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. Conclusion: The results of this study show that anxiety and depression are prevalent among women with gynaecological conditions. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach aimed at improving the quality of life is necessary for the management of these women with physical symptoms.
Keywords: Burden; Psychological Symptoms; Women; Gynaecological Conditions.
Tropical Journal of Medical Research Vol. 11 (1) 2007: pp. 11-15