Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 613

Full Length Research Paper

Prevalence of depression and role of support groups in its management: A study of adult HIV/AIDS patients attending HIV/AIDS Clinic in a tertiary health facility in South-eastern Nigeria

Ndu A. C.1*, Arinze-Onyia S. U.2, Aguwa E. N.1 and Obi I. E.1
1Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. 2Department of Community Medicine, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 March 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2011


The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of depression among adult HIV/AIDS patients attending HIV/AIDS clinic in a tertiary health facility in Southeastern Nigeria. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out in June 2007. A consecutive sampling method was used to recruit participants for assessment of the prevalence of depression among HIV/AIDS patients. A pre-tested questionnaire and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were used to collect data. A total of 122 patients were studied and majority of the respondents (86.9%) were between 18 and 40 years with a female preponderance (65.6%). Fifty four percent were married. Almost half of respondents were either traders (27%) or students (22.1%) and majority (80.3%) had a minimum of secondary education. Using HADS, 21.3% were depressed and 21.3% had borderline depression. The main causes of depression were stigmatization and the disease being terminal in nature. Only 53.3% of the total population were aware of HIV support groups, and of this percentage only 46.2% belonged to any support group. Though more of the respondents who do not belong to a support group were more likely to be depressed, the difference was not significant (c2 = 1.40, P = 0.236).Depression is very high among HIV/AIDS patients and belonging to support groups may help in its reduction and should be encouraged.


Key words: Prevalence, depression, HIV/AIDS, support groups, Nigeria.