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Depression among TB patients and associated factors in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

  • P. Shrestha (a1) (a2), U. K. Subba (a3), M. Brouwer (a4) and A. C. Sweetland (a5)

Abstract

Introduction

When tuberculosis (TB) and depression co-occur, there is greater risk for comorbidities, disability, suffering, and health-related costs. Depression is also associated with poor treatment adherence in patients with TB. The major aim of this study was to assess the symptoms of depression and associated factors among TB patients currently receiving directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) treatment.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among TB patients currently undergoing treatment in 27 DOTS centers in three districts of Kathmandu Valley. The study included 250 TB patients within 2 months of treatment initiation, aged 18 years and above. The previously validated Nepali Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to screen for depression and semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect socio-demographic information and other factors related to TB and/or depression. Data analysis was conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics version 20.

Results

The study found the mean PHQ Score to be 2.84 (s.d. 4.92, range 0–25). Among the respondents, 10% (n = 25) had PHQ-9 scores ⩾10, suggestive of probable depression. Multivariate linear regression indicated that depressive symptoms were significantly associated with being separated/widowed/divorced (p = 0.000) and having lower education (0.003). In addition, smoking (p = 0.02), alcohol use (p = 0.001), and experience of side effects from TB medications (p = 0.001) were risk factors for higher PHQ-9 scores.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that patients on TB treatment have higher risk of depression and efforts should be made by the National Tuberculosis Program to address this issue.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: P. Shrestha, E-mail: prabin.shrestha@hotmail.com

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Keywords

Depression among TB patients and associated factors in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

  • P. Shrestha (a1) (a2), U. K. Subba (a3), M. Brouwer (a4) and A. C. Sweetland (a5)

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