Depression and anxiety symptoms among people with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis receiving in-patient care in the National Pulmonology Reference Institute in Romania
Mental health comorbidities are common among tuberculosis patients, with higher prevalence among people with rifampicin-resistant/multidrug-resistant (RR/MDR) tuberculosis. TB and depression share common risk factors adding to the overall disease burden. There is limited evidence about prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms among tuberculosis patients in Romania. We assessed the prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms and their evolution over the course of the treatment in RR/MDR-TB patients receiving in-patient care at the National Institute of Pneumonology (NIP) “Marius Nasta” in Romania during May-September 2020. We conducted a cohort study and used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) to assess the prevalence of depression and anxiety (defined as score≥ 8) symptoms at admission (baseline) and the second month of in-patient treatment (follow-up). Difference between baseline and follow-up depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using McNemar test. Binary logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between sociodemographic and clinical characteristics with the presence of depression and anxiety symptoms at baseline. The cohort included 46 patients, 63% were male, mean age was 46 (±13.3) years. The prevalence of depression and anxiety in our cohort was 46% and 43% at baseline respectively, and 50% and 39%, at the follow-up respectively. About one third (7/25) of patients who had normal HADS depression score at baseline, had an increase above the threshold at the second month of treatment. No statistical difference in prevalence of depression or anxiety was found between the baseline and second month of treatment. Unadjusted analysis showed that odds of depression at baseline was lower in patients with education above 8th grade compared to patients with education below 8th grade (odds ratio=0.2, 95% confidence interval: 0.1,0.8, p=0.026). The study revealed high prevalence of depression and anxiety among RR/MDR-TB patients admitted to the NIP, underlining the necessity of evaluating the mental health of TB patients and linking them to appropriate care.
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