Psychiatric morbidity in hypertensives attending a cardiology outpatient clinic in West Africa
Objectives: To determine kinds of psychiatric morbidity among a sample of stable hypertensive outpatients in a teaching hospital. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 260 enrolled outpatients. Psychiatric morbidity was assessed using a 2-stage evaluation method with the General Health Questionnaire Version 12 (GHQ-12) and Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) to assess for psychiatric diagnosis. Results: 28 (10.8%) of the 260 patients endorsed some psychological distress, with a mean GHQ-12 score of =2. At the second stage, 16.1% (N=13 of 81) interviewed had one or more psychiatric disorder on the SCID. The commonest psychiatric diagnosis made were mood disorders, with current major depressive disorder occurring at a rate of 6.2%. Other disorders found were past major depressive episode (2.5%), organic mood syndrome (3.7%), and somatoform disorder (3.7%). Conclusion: The relationship between hypertension and mood disorders should inform a higher index of suspicion among physicians and general practitioners in order to give patients appropriate treatments or referrals where necessary. It is recommended that collaboration with mental health service providers be encouraged.