Depression among patients with diabetes mellitus in a Nigerian teaching hospital

Bawo Onesirosan James, Joyce Ohiole Omoaregba, George Eze, Olufemi Morakinyo


Objectives. Depression is associated with diabetes mellitus and affects treatment goals negatively. We aimed to determine the prevalence of depression and identify its socio-demographic or clinical correlates among patients with diabetes mellitus attending an out-patient clinic in Nigeria.

Methods. Two hundred consecutively recruited diabetes patients (index group) were compared with a similar number of apparently healthy controls in a cross-sectional survey. In both groups, in addition to obtaining socio-demographic details, depression was diagnosed using the Schedule for the Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN), while the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depression symptom severity.

Results. Sixty (30%) diabetes patients met a SCAN diagnosis for clinical depression, compared with 19 (9.5%) in the control group. Having a smaller income and more children were significantly correlated with higher depression symptoms on the BDI.

Conclusion. Depression is highly co-morbid with diabetes mellitus. The care of individuals with diabetes mellitus should include the screening and possible treatment for depression in order to achieve and sustain treatment goals.


depression; diabetes mellitus; prevalence; co-morbidity; psychosocial correlates

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Submitted: 19 November 2009
Published: 01 April 2010

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)