Volume 115, Issue 1 p. 31-33
Clinical articles

Depression among women with obstetric fistula in Kenya

Khisa Weston

Khisa Weston

African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Nairobi, Kenya

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Stephen Mutiso

Stephen Mutiso

Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

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Judy W. Mwangi

Corresponding Author

Judy W. Mwangi

African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding author at: AMREF, PO Box 30125, Nairobi 00100, Kenya. Tel.: + 254 20 699 4601; fax: + 254 20 606 340.Search for more papers by this author
Zahida Qureshi

Zahida Qureshi

University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

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Jessica Beard

Jessica Beard

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Departments of Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

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Pavithra Venkat

Pavithra Venkat

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Departments of Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

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First published: 27 July 2011
Citations: 71

Abstract

Objective

To establish the prevalence of depression and describe associated factors among fistula patients attending an obstetric fistula surgical camp in Kenya.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted focusing on obstetric fistula patients attending a national fistula camp held in August 2008 at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain sociodemographic data and medical histories for all consenting patients before surgery. Depression measures were obtained using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

Results

Of the 70 women interviewed, 2 (2.9%) and 12 (17.1%) reported a history of psychiatric illness and suicidal ideations, respectively. Depression was present in 51 (72.9%) patients, with 18 (25.7%) meeting criteria for severe depression. Depression was significantly associated with women older than 20 years of age (P = 0.01), unemployment (P = 0.03), lack of social support following fistula (P = 0.04), and living with fistula for over 3 months (P = 0.01).

Conclusion

Women with obstetric fistula are predisposed to high levels of depression. A holistic management approach, including mental health care and family support, is recommended.