Vision impairment and self-reported anxiety and depression in older adults in Nigeria: evidence from a cross-sectional survey in Kogi State

More than 2 billion people are thought to be living with some form of vision impairment worldwide. Yet relatively little is known about the wider impacts of vision loss on individual health and well-being, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study estimated the associations between all-cause vision impairment and self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression among older adults in Kogi State, Nigeria.

Individual eyes were examined according to the standard Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness methodology, and anxiety and depression were assessed using the Washington Group Short Set on Functioning–Enhanced. The associations were estimated using multivariable logistic regression models, adding two- and three-way interaction terms to test whether these differed for gender subgroups and with age.

Overall, symptoms of either anxiety or depression, or both, were worse among people with severe visual impairment or blindness compared with those with no impairment (OR=2.72, 95% CI 1.86 to 3.99). Higher levels of anxiety and/or depression were observed among men with severe visual impairment and blindness compared with women, and this gender gap appeared to widen as people got older.

These findings suggest a substantial mental health burden among people with vision impairment in LMICs, particularly older men, underscoring the importance of targeted policies and programmes addressing the preventable causes of vision impairment and blindness.

Factors Explaining Quality of Life among People with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Bangladesh: A Cross-Sectional Study

Traumatic brain injury leads to mortality and disability with consequences for the poor quality of life of people. Little study regarding the quality of life of people with traumatic brain injury in Bangladesh exists. This cross-sectional study aims to examine the quality of life and its influencing factors among people with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. The participants were 249 people with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, and their caregivers recruited from three public hospitals in Bangladesh. Data were collected through questionnaires including socio-demographic, the Injury Related Illness and Injury Severity Score questionnaire, the Charlson Comorbidity Index, the Modified Barthel Index, the Patients Health Questionnaire-9, the MOS-Social Support Survey, the Quality of Life after Brain Injury (QOLIBRI), the caregiver socio-demographic, and the Caregiver Preparedness Scale. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation test, and stepwise multiple regression model.
Results showed that majority of the people reported a poor quality of life. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that social support, caregiver preparedness, depression, and income, were significant factors and could explain 37% variance of quality of life. To improve the quality of life among people with traumatic brain injury, nurses should seek significant resources to support them, perform emotional support to prevent depression and prepare their caregivers with knowledge and proper skills for patients’ care. Eventually, they can have healthy transition and obtain desirable health outcomes with good quality of life.

Facilitators, barriers and potential solutions to the integration of depression and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) care in Malawi: a qualitative study with service providers

Integration of depression services into infectious disease care is feasible, acceptable, and effective in sub-Saharan African settings. However, while the region shifts focus to include chronic diseases, additional information is required to integrate depression services into chronic disease settings. We assessed service providers’ views on the concept of integrating depression care into non-communicable diseases’ (NCD) clinics in Malawi. The aim of this analysis was to better understand barriers, facilitators, and solutions to integrating depression into NCD services.

Between June and August 2018, we conducted nineteen in-depth interviews with providers. Providers were recruited from 10 public hospitals located within the central region of Malawi (i.e., 2 per clinic, with the exception of one clinic where only one provider was interviewed because of scheduling challenges). Using a semi structured interview guide, we asked participants questions related to their understanding of depression and its management at their clinic. We used thematic analysis allowing for both inductive and deductive approach. Themes that emerged related to facilitators, barriers and suggested solutions to integrate depression assessment and care into NCD clinics. We used CFIR constructs to categorize the facilitators and barriers.

Almost all providers knew what depression is and its associated signs and symptoms. Almost all facilities had an NCD-dedicated room and reported that integrating depression into NCD care was feasible. Facilitators of service integration included readiness to integrate services by the NCD providers, availability of antidepressants at the clinic. Barriers to service integration included limited knowledge and lack of training regarding depression care, inadequacy of both human and material resources, high workload experienced by the providers and lack of physical space for some depression services especially counseling. Suggested solutions were training of NCD staff on depression assessment and care, engaging hospital leaders to create an NCD and depression care integration policy, integrating depression information into existing documents, increasing staff, and reorganizing clinic flow.

Findings of this study suggest a need for innovative implementation science solutions such as reorganizing clinic flow to increase the quality and duration of the patient-provider interaction, as well as ongoing trainings and supervisions to increase clinical knowledge.

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, are non-COVID patients left in the lurch?

Objectives: 1) To explore the possible impact of the pandemic on the health seeking behavior of the patients, 2) To explore the relation of socio-demographics on the utility of health-care facilities.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted by enrolling all patients ≥15 years of age presenting to the Out-Patient-Department of three main public-hospitals after obtaining ethical committee approval. A questionnaire with validated Urdu translation was filled by each participant that included socio-demographic data, pre-Covid and Covid-19 era health seeking behaviors and the impact of the pandemic on the utilization of healthcare facilities. Data was analyzed using SPSS V.19.

Results: A total of 393 patients were enrolled with a male preponderance (72%) and a median age range of 31-45 years. Fifty-eight percent of the study population was unemployed and 47.3% were seeking follow up care. The frequency of ER and multiple (>4 times) OPD visits were significantly decreased in the Covid-19 times whereas, the laboratory and radiology services were largely unaffected. A significant number of patients were not satisfied with the current healthcare facilities that was seen irrespective of the socio-demographic status. Emergency Room and radiology services were largely unaffected whereas, elective procedures and laboratory facilities were reported to be severely affected or delayed in relation to socio-demographic variables.

Conclusions: Healthcare inequalities have widened and depression has shown a sharp rise during this pandemic. The over-burdened healthcare facilities at the verge of collapse may miss out on the chronic non-Covid patients which would ultimately lead to increased morbidity and mortality.