Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Somatic symptoms in depression: Evaluation of their diagnostic weight in an African setting

  • G. T. Okulate (a1), M. O. Olayinka (a1) and O. B. E. Jones (a1)
Abstract
Background

Somatic symptoms are extremely common features of depression and other mental disorders in African countries such as Nigeria, buttheir weight in the diagnosis of depression is not certain.

Aim

To determine what weight should be assigned to these symptoms in comparison with other well-known symptoms in the diagnosis of depression.

Method

A sample of 829 persons completed the Patient Health Questionnaire which was earlier modified by the inclusion of the somatic symptoms being studied. Using principal component analysis and a logistic regression model, the contributions of these symptoms in comparison with others were determined.

Results

Core depressive symptoms accounted for most of the total variance for depression. The somatic symptoms studied loaded separately from the core depressive symptoms and were not as good predictors of depression. A cognitive factor emerged as well as some somatic factors.

Conclusions

Although somatic symptoms may be florid among patients with depression, they have considerably less weight than core depressive symptoms in the diagnosis of depression. The emerging cognitive factor could be similar to that described by previous authors.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Somatic symptoms in depression: Evaluation of their diagnostic weight in an African setting
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Somatic symptoms in depression: Evaluation of their diagnostic weight in an African setting
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Somatic symptoms in depression: Evaluation of their diagnostic weight in an African setting
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr G. T. Okulate, PO Box 8869, Shomolu, Lagos State, Nigeria. E-mail: okulateus@yahoo.com
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM-IV). Washington, DC: APA.
Anumonye, A., Ilechukwu, S. T. C. & Adaranijo, H. (1979) Patterns of depression in a Nigerian megalopolis. African Journal of Psychiatry, 5, 6774.
Binitie, A. (1975) A factor-analytic study of depression across cultures (African and European). British Journal of Psychiatry, 127, 559563.
Binitie, A. (1988) Outstanding contributions to Nigerian psychiatry. Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry, 1, 145154.
Brown, C., Schulberg, H. C. & Madonia, M. J. (1996) Clinical presentations of major depression by African Americans and Whites in primary medical care practice. Journal of Affective Disorders, 41, 181191.
Dhadphale, M., Ellison, R. H. & Griffin, L. (1983) The frequency of psychiatric disorders among patients attending semi-urban and rural general out-patient clinics in Kenya. British Journal of Psychiatry, 142, 379383.
Ebigbo, P. O. (1982) Developing a culture specific (Nigeria) screening scale of somatic complaints indicating psychiatric disturbances. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 6, 2943.
Goldberg, D. (1979) Detection and assessment of emotional disorders in a primary care setting. International Journal of Mental Health, 8, 3048.
Gureje, O., Simon, G. E., Ustun, T. B., et al (1997) Somatization in cross-cultural perspective: a World Health Organization study in primary care. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 989995.
Hamilton, M. (1961) Development of a rating scale for primary depressive illness. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 6, 278296.
Harding, T. W., Arangode, M. V., Beltazar, J., et al (1980) Mental disorders in primary health care: a study of their frequency and diagnosis in four developing countries. Psychological Medicine, 10, 231241.
Hobbs, P., Ballinger, C., Greenwood, B., et al (1984) Factor analysis and validation of the General Health Questionnaire in men: a general practice survey. British Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 270275.
Ilechukwu, S. T. C. (1991) Psychiatry in Africa: special problems and unique features. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 28, 169218.
Kirmayer, L. (1984) Culture, affect and somatization 11. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 21, 237262.
Kirmayer, L. J., Robbins, J. M., Dworkind, M., et al (1993) Somatization and the recognition of depression and anxiety in primary care. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 734741.
Leon, A. C., Portera, L., Olfson, M., et al (1997) False positive results: a challenge for psychiatric screening in primary care. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 462464.
Makanjuola, R. O. A. (1987) ‘Ode–ori’. A culture bound disorder with prominent somatic features in Yoruba-Nigerian patients. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 75, 231236.
Morakinyo, O. (1985) The brain-fag syndrome in Nigeria: cognitive deficitsin an illness associated with study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 146, 209210.
Mumford, D. B., Saeed, K., Ahmad, I., et al (1997) Stress and psychiatric disorder in rural Punjab: a community survey. British Journal of Psychiatry, 170, 473478.
Ohaeri, J. U. & Odejide, O. A. (1994) Somatization symptoms among patients using primary health care facilities in a rural community in Nigeria. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 2831.
Okulate, G. T. & Jones, O. B. E. (2002) Two depression rating instruments in Nigerian patients. Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal, 9, 7478.
Okulate, G. T., Olayinka, M. O. & Jones, O. B. E. (2003) Erectile dysfunction. Prevalence and relationship to depression, alcohol abuse and panic disorder. General Hospital Psychiatry, 25, 209213.
Patel, V., Simunyu, E., Gwanzura, F., et al (1997) The Shona Symptom Questionnaire: the development of an indigenous measure of common mental disorders in Harare. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 95, 469475.
Pfeiffer, W. (1968) The symptomatology of depression viewed transculturally. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 5, 121.
Prince, R. H. (1968) The changing picture of depressive syndromes in Africa: is it fact or diagnostic fashion? Canadian Journal of African Studies, 1, 7792.
Prince, R. H. (1985) The concept of culture bound syndromes. Anorexia nervosa and brain-fag. Social Science and Medicine, 21, 197203.
Rosen, R. C., Riley, A., Wagner, G., et al (1997) The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF): a multidimensional scale for assessment of erectile dysfunction. Urology, 49, 822830.
Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K. & Williams, J. B. W. (1999) Validation and utility of a self-report version of PRIME-MD. The PHQ primary care study JAMA, 282, 17371744.
SPSS (1998) SPSS for Windows, version 10. Chicago, IL: SPSS Inc.
Verhaak, P. F. M. (1988) Detection of psychological complaints by general practitioners. Medical Care, 26, 10091020.
Zung, W. W. K. (1965) A self-rating depression scale. Archives of General Psychiatry, 12, 6370.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 54 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 26th April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Somatic symptoms in depression: Evaluation of their diagnostic weight in an African setting

  • G. T. Okulate (a1), M. O. Olayinka (a1) and O. B. E. Jones (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *