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Psychological distress in Nigerian patients with heart failure

Authors:

Victor O. Ansa ,

Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology Unit), University of Calabar, Calabar, NG
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Festus Abasiubong,

Department of Psychiatry, University of Uyo, Uyo, NG
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Regina O. Agbulu,

Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology Unit), University of Calabar, Calabar, NG
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Bassey E. Edet

Federal Psychiatric Hospital Calabar, NG
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Abstract

Background: Heart failure is commonly associated with psychological symptoms. These symptoms are often neglected, underdiagnosed or inadequately treated and therefore impact negatively on the recovery of and quality of life of these patients. This study aimed at determining the frequency of psychological distress (anxiety and/or depression) and its correlates in Nigerian patients with heart failure.

Methods: The subjects comprised one hundred (1 0 0) confirmed heart failure patients in steady state. They were recruited consecutively from the cardiology outpatient clinics of two tertiary hospitals in Nigeria.

A self administered questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic and clinical data. Psychological distress was assessed using a psychometric questionnaire – the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the severity of heart failure was assessed according to the New York Heart Association criteria (NYHA).

Results: Anxiety was found in 16% of the patients, depression in 13% and 39% had anxiety co-morbidly presenting with depression. Psychological distress was more common in younger patients (less than 50 years) (p < 0.05). No significant association was found between psychological distress and gender, marital status, aetiology of heart failure, duration of illness and NYHA functional class (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Anxiety and depression have been found to be common in heart failure patients in Nigeria and affects more of the younger patients.

More attention should be focused on psychological co-morbidity in heart failure in order to improve clinical outcome.

How to Cite: Ansa VO, Abasiubong F, Agbulu RO, Edet BE. Psychological distress in Nigerian patients with heart failure. Global Heart. 2009;4(4):207–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvdpc.2010.01.001
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Published on 01 Dec 2009.

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