Objective: The goal of this study was to explore specific psychiatric morbidity among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients in Nigeria.
Method: The mental status of 30 COPD patients was compared with those of 30 uncomplicated hypertensive patients and 30 apparently healthy controls using the 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) and Present State Examination (PSE). The sociodemographic characteristics of the three groups were also compared.
Results: The COPD population was significantly least educated and predominantly subsistent farmers. Thirty percent of the COPD population, 13.3% of the hypertensive patients and 3.3% of apparently healthy controls had psychiatric morbidity (P<.05). The COPD population, with psychiatric diagnoses consisted of 16.7% depressive episode, 10% generalized anxiety disorder and 3.3% delirium. This pattern is similar to data from industrialized countries. No sociodemographic factors were significantly associated with psychiatric morbidity.
Conclusion: Improving the psychiatric knowledge of the primary physician will result in better management of the COPD patient.