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IJHRS. 2014; 3(1): 7-18

Family Dysfunction and Depressive Symptoms among People Living with HIV/AIDS, in Nigeria, West Africa

Shittu Rasaki O, Issa Baba A, Olanrewaju Abdulganiyu T, Mahmoud Abdulraheem O, Odeigah Louis O, Sule Abdullateef G, Sanni Musa A.

Background: The presence of clinically important depressive symptoms is the result of multiple factors. It has been pointed out that dysfunctional families relate positively with depressive symptoms with clinical significance. However, data are divergent.

Objective: To determine the association between family dysfunction and depression among HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional and descriptive study, of three hundred adult HIV/AIDS subjects attending the HIV clinic of the Kwara State Specialist Hospital, Ilorin. Depression was assessed using the PHQ-9 scale. Prevalence of self-reported family dysfunction was assessed using the Family APGAR questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of depression among the HIV/AID patient was 56.7% with the following level of depression viz: minimal 109 (64%), mild 44 (25.9%), moderate 10 (5.9%), moderately severe 3 (1.8%), and 4 (2.4%), severely depressed. Moreover, there was severe family dysfunction in 75 (44.1%) and moderate dysfunction in 48 (28.2%) of the respondents. Only 47 (27.6%) had highly functional family.

Conclusion: Depression is very prevalent among HIV/AID patient. They have low family APGAR score, hence family dysfunction is a common problem among them. The association between depression and family dysfunction was significant. Since family dysfunction is associated with depression, it is paramount for practitioners to assess family configuration, functioning and social support as part of the routine evaluation of the HIV-infected patients and indeed by extension, all other patients assessing treatment in our health facilities.

Key words: Family dysfunction, Depression, HIV/AIDS, Nigeria

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