To establish the prevalence of depression and describe associated factors among fistula patients attending an obstetric fistula surgical camp in Kenya.
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.
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).
Women with obstetric fistula are predisposed to high levels of depression. A holistic management approach, including mental health care and family support, is recommended