Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 143-148

Knowledge of depression in the elderly among primary health care workers in Kubau, Nigeria

1 Jahun General Hospital, Jahun, Jigawa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kashini Andrew
Jahun General Hospital, Jahun, Jigawa State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196820

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Background: Depression has been shown to be prevalent in the elderly; however, it is underdiagnosed and hence undertreated. Data on elderly depression in Caucasians are few and showed a high prevalence of major depression with few at primary health care level especially in Nigerians and rural Africans. This study assessed the knowledge of primary health care workers on depression in the elderly in Kubau, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out in June 2012, which elicited sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents and knowledge of depression using a semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. The collected data were cleaned and entered into statistical package software for social sciences version 16 and the results presented as tables and charts with statistical significance set at P value less than 0.05. Results: Most of the respondents were community health extension workers (67.8%), with 46% having work experience in the range of 5–10 years. About half (55.9%) of the Community health extension workers have heard of depression while only 55% of the total respondents knew the definition of depression in medical terms. Only 12.6% of the health workers knew that old age was a risk factor for depression. Conclusion: The study revealed a poor knowledge of depression in the elderly among healthcare workers at primary healthcare level with the majority of Community health extension workers mostly implicated. Hence, the need for proper training in mental health and awareness campaigns in communities.

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