Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms in adult patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in the Southwest Region of Cameroon

Abstract Background Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global health challenge and depression is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Current evidence suggests that there is an association between depressive symptoms and TB, lower adherence to treatment, and increased morbidity and mortality. However, there is paucity of data regarding these associations in Cameroon. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and correlates of depression in adult patients with pulmonary TB (PTB) in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. Methods A hospital-based cross-sectional study involving 265 patients with PTB was conducted from 2 nd January to 31 st March 2015 in the Limbe Regional Hospital and the Kumba District Hospital. Depression was diagnosed using the standard nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire, and classified as none, mild or moderate. Logistic regressions were used to investigate correlates of depression in these patients. Results Of the 265 patients (mean age 36.9 ± 10 years) studied, 136 (51.3 %) were female. The prevalence of depression was 61.1 % (95 % CI: 55.1–66.8), with a significant proportion (36.6 %) having mild depression. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that being female (aOR = 3.0, 95 % CI (1.7–5.5), P < 0.001), having a family history of mental illness (aOR = 2.5, 95 % CI: 1.3–5.4, P > 0.05), being on retreatment for TB (aOR = 11.2, 95 % CI: 5.2–31.1, P < 0.001), having discontinued treatment (aOR = 8.2, 95 % CI: 1.1–23.3, P < 0.05) and having a HIV/TB co-infection (aOR = 2.5, 95 % CI: 1.2–6.5, P < 0.001) were factors associated with having a higher chance of being depressed. Conclusion Our study suggests that there is a high prevalence of depression among PTB patients, with more than one in two patients affected. Multidisciplinary care for TB patients involving mental health practitioners is highly encouraged, especially for high-risk groups.