Association between Depression and Social Demographic Factors in a Nigerian Family Practice Setting


Objectives: Although depression is one of the more common illnesses in outpatients’ clinic, it is often overlooked. Besides accurate identification and treatment is challenging. As pertinent as demographic factors are in explaining the variability of depressive symptoms, there is paucity of data in Nigeria in particular, and West Africa in general, hence the need to bring into lime light the association between depression symptoms and socio-demographic factors in a General Outpatients Clinic in Nigeria, West Africa. Methods: Following institutional ethics committee approval, four hundred newly registered patients who attended the General Out Patients Department (GOPD) of Kwara State Specialist Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria, were selected by systematic random sampling and studied. The Patients Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) specifically developed for use in primary care with acceptable reliability, validity, sensitively was used. Association between each socio-demographic factor and depression was sought. Results: One hundred and seventy eight (44.5%) out of the four hundred respondents were found to have one form of depression or the other. There was minimal depression in 119 (29.8%), mild in 54 (13.4%), moderate in 2 (0.5%), and severe in 3 (0.8%). There was strong statistical association between depression and age group, sex, marital status, level of education, occupation and monthly income, p-values 0.008, 0.000, 0.000, 0.003, 0.000, 0.001 respectively. However, religion (p = 0.541) and ethnicity (p = 0.567) were of no statistical importance. Conclusion: The prevalence of depressive symptoms among patients attending family practice clinics was high. There was also strong association between depression and socio-demographic factor. Family physician should have high index of suspicion to patients with vague somatic complaints and the aforementioned socio-demographic factors. Early detection of depression can be enhanced by screening patients for this disorder, when they attend the hospital for other reasons.

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Shittu, R. , Odeigah, L. , Issa, B. , Olanrewaju, G. , Mahmoud, A. & Sanni, M. (2014). Association between Depression and Social Demographic Factors in a Nigerian Family Practice Setting. Open Journal of Depression, 3, 18-23. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2014.31006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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