Paper Title: Screening For Comorbid Depression Amongst Epileptics Receiving Treatment at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).
Authors: Nkporbu A.K, Tobin West C, Stanley P.C
BACKGROUND: There has been a renewed interest in the psychological wellbeing of people with epilepsy in the recent times. Studies have shown that nearly as many as two third of people with epilepsy develop clinically relevant depressive disorders . Depression in epilepsy is common but often an unrecognized comorbid malady. AIM: To determine the current state of evidence about the comorbidity of epilepsy and depression. METHODOLOGY: The study was carried out at the department neuropsychiatry, UPTH. Appropriate sample size was calculated from prevalence of depression in epilepsy in previous studies using the formula by Araoye. A random selection of epileptic patients attending the neuropsychiatric outpatient clinic was made. A sociodemographic questionnaire, the GHQ-12 instrument, followed by the Becks Depressive Inventory (BDI) were administered to participants. Definitive diagnoses were made using the DSM-IV criteria. The results were analysed using Microsoft Excel and SSPS window version 16. RESULTS: A total of 320 subjects with epilepsy were enlisted for the study, out of this figure, 212 (67.5%) had depression, of this figure, 118 (55.7%) were females while 94 (44.3%) were males. All patients seen were between 19 – 54 years (mean age 36.5 years). CONCLUSION: This study showed high prevalence of depression in epilepsy and was highly represented in those without employment as well as those who were meaningfully employed, those with frequent seizure attacks, high level of stigma as well as those living in hostile environments.