Prevalence of depression and associated clinical and socio-demographic factors in people living with lymphatic filariasis in Plateau State, Nigeria.
BACKGROUND: Lymphatic filariasis is a chronic, disabling and often disfiguring condition that principally impacts the world's poorest people. In addition to the well-recognised physical disability associated with lymphedema and hydrocele, affected people often experience rejection, stigma and discrimination. The resulting emotional consequences are known to impact on the quality of life and the functioning of the affected individuals. However, the management of this condition has focused on prevention and treatment through mass drug administration, with scant attention paid to the emotional impact of the condition on affected individuals. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and severity of depression among individuals with physical disfigurement from lymphatic filariasis in Plateau State, Nigeria.
METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional 2-stage convenience study was conducted at 5 designated treatment centers across Plateau State, Nigeria. All available and consenting clients with clearly visible physical disfigurement were recruited. A semi-structured socio-demographic questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-esteem and a 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) were administered at the first stage. Those who screened positive (with a PHQ-9 score of five and above) were further interviewed using the Depression module of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
RESULTS: Ninety-eight individuals met the criteria and provided consent. Twenty percent of the respondents met criteria for depression, with the following proportions based on severity: Mild (42.1%), Moderate (31.6%) and Severe (26.3%). History of mental illness (OR 40.83, p = 0.008); Median duration of the illness was 17 years (IQR 7.0-30 years) and being unemployed (OR 12.71, p = 0.003) were predictive of depression. High self-esteem was negatively correlated (OR 0.09, p<0.004).
CONCLUSION: Prevalence of depression is high among individuals with lymphatic filariasis and depression in sufferers is associated with low self-esteem and low levels of life satisfaction.