Depression is a common mental disorder presenting in primary care but its recognition still remains sub-optimal. It is associated with disability and consequences on the individual, his/her family and the society.
The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of depression and family support among patients at the General Out-patient Clinic of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano. This was with the hope of increasing physician awareness on the prevalence of depression and the influence of family support in the management of depression.
In this cross-sectional study, participants were systematically selected for the study between
February and April 2013. Data on participants’ socio-demographic characteristics, somatic symptoms, medical co-morbidities, family history of mental illness, substance use, Zung depression scores, perceived social support family scores, anthropometric measurements and laboratory parameters were collected. Depression was determined using the Zung depression scale and classified as mild, moderate and severe. Family support was assessed using the Perceived
Social Support Family Scale and was classified as strong, weak and no family support respectively. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 16 software and variables were considered significant at p-values less than 0.05.
A total of 400 participants were recruited for the study, comprising 42.5% males and 57.5% females. The age of the participants ranged between 18years to 70 years with a mean age (±SD) of 32.9 years (±11.3). Majority of the participants were unmarried and Hausa by tribe, with tertiary education.
The prevalence of depression was 55.2% with 36.7%, 14% and 4% having mild, moderate and severe depression respectively. It was most prevalent in the sixth decade of life (50-59 years). Among participants 44% had strong family support, 42.5% had weak family support and 13.5% had no family support. On bivariate analysis depression was significantly associated with older age, being unmarried, Christianity, Yoruba ethnic group and high educational level. It was also significantly associated with some somatic symptoms, alcohol ingestion, cigarette smoking, positive family history of mental illness and Weak/No perceived family support. But, on logistic regression analysis, only being unmarried (OR 0.416, 95% CI 0.204-0.848, p= 0.016), and Weak/No family support (OR 130.4, 95% CI 27.3-623.4, p<0.001) were independent predictors of depression.
The relationship between depression and family support calls for vigilance by family physicians.
There is a need to incorporate family support in the management of patients with depression.
PATTERN OF DEPRESSION AND FAMILY SUPPORT AMONG PATIENTS AT THE GENERAL OUTPATIENT CLINIC OF AMINU KANO TEACHING HOSPITAL, KANO.