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Comorbidity of mental ill-health in tuberculosis patients under treatment in a rural province of South Africa: a cross-sectional survey.
journal contributionposted on 2022-12-12, 11:57 authored by Yanga Thungana, Robert Wilkinson, Zukiswa Zingela
OBJECTIVES: Tuberculosis (TB) remains prevalent despite the availability of effective anti-TB medications, and accumulating evidence suggests a high rate of mental disorders in people with TB. This is because TB and psychiatric disorders share several risk factors, such as poverty, homelessness and substance use disorder. Moreover, psychiatric comorbidities in patients with TB are associated with poor treatment outcomes. This study explored the psychiatric comorbidity and clinical correlates in individuals receiving TB treatment. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey over 10 months. SETTING: Two primary care clinics at King Sabata Dalindyebo district, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa. PARTICIPANT: Patients receiving TB treatment in the two clinics. INTERVENTION: The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to screen for psychiatric disorders. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of mental disorders in patients with TB over a 10-month period. Variation in rates by sex, employment status and HIV comorbidity. RESULTS: In a sample of 197 participants, most patients were men (62%) and screened positive for a mental disorder (82%) with anxiety (48%), depression (38%) and substance use disorders (43%) being the most common psychiatric conditions. On average, individuals had 4 (SD 2) mental disorders. Females had higher rates of depression (p=0.005) and non-adherence to TB treatment (p=0.003), and alcohol use disorder was more common in males (p<0.001) and in those non-adherent to TB treatment. Additionally, low education levels and unemployment were associated with depressive and anxiety disorders (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Mental disorders are common in patients with TB, and mental health services need to be integrated into the management of patients with TB. Factors linked to mental disorders in this cohort, such as low education, gender and unemployment, may be useful for compiling a risk profile to help identify those with TB who may require more intensive support for their mental health.