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. 2009 Sep;6(3):133-8.

Depression Comorbidity Among Patients With Tuberculosis in a University Teaching Hospital Outpatient Clinic in Nigeria

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Depression Comorbidity Among Patients With Tuberculosis in a University Teaching Hospital Outpatient Clinic in Nigeria

Baba A Issa et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
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Background Tuberculosis (TB) remains a leading infectious cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Medication non-compliance has been recognised as one of the drawbacks in the successful management of this disease. Hence, different approaches for ensuring medication compliance have been adopted; these include the Directly Observed Therapy Short course (DOTS). TB is associated with psychiatric morbidity, particularly depressive disorder, and this has been recognised as a cause of poor compliance and a cause of increased morbidity and mortality from the disease. Despite this recognition, little attention is paid to the identification of depression among TB patients, particularly in the DOTS clinics that most of these patients attend. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of depression in patients with TB attending the DOTS outpatient clinic in a university teaching hospital in Nigeria, and to find out the factors that may be associated with this.Method All consenting TB patients attending the clinic completed a socio-demographic questionnaire and nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) designed to screen for depression, especially in outpatient and primary care settings.Results Sixty-five patients participated in the study of whom 41 (63.1%) were males. The mean age of the respondents was 35.1 ± 14.4 (range 15-70 years). Eighteen (27.7%) of the patients had depression, comprising 14 (21.5%) with mild depression and four (6.2%) with moderate depression. Socio-demographic factors (age groups, P=0.024; and financial status, P=0.02) and a clinical factor (persistent cough, P=0.04) were significantly associated with depression.Conclusion Measures to reduce depression among patients with TB should include effective symptom control, particularly of coughing, and measures to improve the financial status of this group of patients. Financial empowerment of patients may reduce depression in them, improve the compliance rate to anti-TB medication, and could furthermore bring an improvement to their quality of life.

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