Detection and prevalence of depression among adult type 2 diabetes mellitus patients attending non-communicable diseases clinics in Lilongwe, Malawi

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Abstract

Background: Depression is associated with chronic physical illnesses and negatively affects health outcomes. However, it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. We investigated the prevalence of depression among adult type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients attending non-communicable diseases (NCD) clinics in Lilongwe, Malawi, and estimated the level of routine detection by NCD clinicians. This study set out to determine the prevalence of major depression and its detection among adult type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients attending NCD clinics in Lilongwe, Malawi. Methods: In a cross-sectional study design, 323 T2DM patients aged ≥ 18 years were screened for depression with the Patient Health Questionnare-9 (PHQ-9) followed by diagnostic assessment with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). We analysed the association between presence of major depression and sociodemographic factors using logistic regression. Results: Three quarters of the participants (76%) were females. The participants’ ages ranged from 21–79 years. Of the 323 participants, 58 (18%) met criteria for DSM-IV major depression. None of the cases of major depression had been identified by the NCD clinicians. Major depression was found not to be significantly associated with any of the sociodemographic factors. Conclusions: We found that depression is common among NCD clinic attendees with T2DM in Malawi, and poorly detected by NCD clinicians. Given the high prevalence and challenges in clinical identification, integration of depression screening with a standardized validated tool should be a high priority so as to link patients to appropriate services.

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Udedi, M., Pence, B. W., Stewart, R. C., & Muula, A. S. (2020). Detection and prevalence of depression among adult type 2 diabetes mellitus patients attending non-communicable diseases clinics in Lilongwe, Malawi. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-020-00413-3

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