Prevalence of depression among adults in Oyo State, Nigeria: a comparative study of rural and urban communities

Aust J Rural Health. 2007 Jun;15(3):211-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2006.00794.x.


Objective: This study was designed to assess the current prevalence of depression in Oyo State, Nigeria and the rural-urban variation in prevalence.

Setting: This is a two-phase community-based cross-sectional study. The urban areas selected for the study are the Ibadan North-West and Egbeda local government areas. The rural area selected was the Saki-East local government area.

Participants: A total of 1105 participants were recruited into the study. Multistage sampling technique was used to obtain a representative sample of the participants from the communities in Oyo State. The study was conducted using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire, and the general health questionnaire (GHQ 12) as a screening tool. The second phase of the interview was conducted only for those participants with a score of more than 3 using the GHQ 12. These participants were then clinically examined using the Structured Clinical Interview DSM IV for assessment of clinical depression.

Main outcome measure: Prevalence of depression.

Results: A total of 721 (65.2%) were from urban communities, while 384 (34.8%) were from the rural community. The overall prevalence of depression was found to be 5.2%. Depression was more prevalent among women than men (5.7% vs 4.8%, chi(2) = 0.36 P = 0.55), and among adolescents (9.6%, P = 0.04). Furthermore, depression was more common in the rural areas than in the urban areas (7.3% vs 4.2%, chi(2) = 4.94 P = 0.02).

Conclusion: Depression is more common in rural than urban areas in the Nigerian population. Mental health education for adolescents and secondary school students should be encouraged in rural communities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Health Education
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sampling Studies
  • School Health Services
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*