Neurology and therapy 2017 03 18() doi 10.1007/s40120-017-0065-9
HIV patients are now having longer life expectancies with the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, the issue of mental illness has surfaced with depression being the most common in these patients, which has markedly reduced patient adherence to ART. In Cameroon, the management of HIV/AIDS does not incorporate psychiatric manifestations and depression is therefore underdiagnosed. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence and determinants of depressive symptoms and their association with adherence to ART among HIV/AIDS patients on HAART in the Southwest Regional Hospitals of Cameroon.
This was a cross-sectional hospital-based study carried out in the BRH and LRH over a 3-month period. Three hundred HIV patients aged 21 and above were recruited. Depression and adherence to treatment were assessed using the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and eight-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale questionnaires, respectively. Data were analysed using Epi-info version 3.4.5.
The prevalence of depression was 26.7% (95% CI 20.6-33.7%); 75.0% of those with depression were non-adherent to HAART compared to 37.3% of those without depression (p value <0.001). The statistically significant risk factors associated with depression were unemployment (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.26-4.50), age ≤40 years (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.20-3.70) and CD4 counts ≤200 cells/µl (OR 3.70; 95% CI 1.45-9.09). CONCLUSION
The prevalence of depression was high and depression was significantly associated with non-adherence to HAART. Interventions to enhance early identification and treatment of depression in patients with HIV/AIDS are needed. Depression screening should be included as part of the routine consultation of HIV/AIDS patients to ensure early detection and treatment.