Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-46

Emotional distress among people with epilepsy in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria

1 Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hoapital, Barnawa, Kaduna, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychiatry, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Folorunsho T Nuhu
Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.115179

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Background: Epilepsy is associated with significant psychiatric morbidities. However, little is known about epilepsy and emotional distress in northern Nigeria. Aim: To assess the prevalence and determinants of emotional distress among people with epilepsy (PWE) in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Settings and Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted between January, 2011 and June, 2011. Materials and Methods: We administered the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale as well as the Oslo 3-Items Social Support Scale to 209 consecutive PWE of at least 1 year duration attending the outpatient clinic of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna in order to measure their levels of anxiety and depression, and social support. The socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the subjects were also recorded. Results: The 209 subjects consisted of 123 (58.7%) males and 86 (41.3%) females with mean age of 28.7 (SD, 12.1) years. Majority have strong social support (56.3%) and less than 6 months seizure-free periods (82.3%). The prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms were 20.2% and 15.4% respectively. Older age, being a female, poor social support and short seizure-free periods were significantly associated with emotional distress (P value < 0.05) while female sex (OR = 2.201, P value = 0.024, 95% CI = 1.108 - 4.373) and poor support (OR = 0.361, P value = 0.024, 95% CI = 0.149 - 0.875) predicted anxiety and depressive symptoms respectively. Conclusion: Emotional distress is quite common among PWE and should be taken into consideration in the management of patients with this disorder.

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