Research Article
Volume 11 Issue 8 - 2022
Investigating Depression and its Association with Suicidal Ideation among Epileptic Patients Visiting the Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia
Aloisia Ndazalekwa Nameya Nangombe1 and Ravi Paul2
1MBCHB (In Progress), Cavendish University, Zambia
2Head, Department of Psychiatry, Cavendish University, Zambia
*Corresponding Author: Ravi Paul, Head, Department of Psychiatry, Cavendish University, Zambia.
Received: June 16, 2022; Published: July 28, 2022


Background: Epilepsy, a chronic neurological disorder distinguished by repeated unprovoked convulsions associated with undesirable consequences of both physical and social, as well as the psychosocial aspects of the patient. It affects an individual’s standard of living. Depression, a mood disorder is one of the most common psychiatric co morbidities in patients with epilepsy (PWE) with major depressive episodes among the most commonly diagnosed. Studies have shown that only a small number of patients receive treatment for their depression. Depression as a co morbidity in epilepsy continues to be under recognized and under treated especially in the developing countries. This study aimed to investigate depression and its association with suicidal ideation among epileptic patients attending the psychiatric outpatient clinic at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.

Methods: This was a cross sectional quantitative study targeting the epileptic patients visiting the clinic for reviews. Participants were assessed based on their availability as they visit the clinic. Questionnaires were used for data collection and data analysis was done using SPSS Version 26 and expressed in frequencies, percentages, histograms and pie charts. Chi-square test was used to compute association between categorical variables and p values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: The study had a total of 12 epileptic patients who were being managed at UTH Department of Psychiatry. The median age of the participants was 35 years IQR (28, 35). Of the total participants 7 (58%) were male and 5 (42%) were female. The majority of the participants were unemployed, 3 (25%) were employed and 2 (16.7%) were students. 9 (75%) lived alone and had no consistent family support. The mean duration with which the patients had been diagnosed with epilepsy (in years) was 16 years, median 6 IQR (3, 6). Major depressive disorder was diagnosed in 10 (83%) of the total participants. Suicide risk classification was low in 11 (92%) cases. There was no statistically significant association between major depression and suicidal ideation in patients living with epilepsy (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: People with epilepsy displayed no suicidal attempt however, major depression and lack of family and social support was prevalent among epileptic patients in this study.

Keywords: Depression; Suicidal Ideation; Epileptic Patients


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Citation: Aloisia Ndazalekwa Nameya Nangombe and Ravi Paul. “Investigating Depression and its Association with Suicidal Ideation among Epileptic Patients Visiting the Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia”. EC Psychology and Psychiatry 11.8 (2022): 15-28.

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