Prevalence of post-traumatic stress symptoms and associated factors in tuberculosis (TB), TB retreatment and/or TB-HIV co-infected primary public health-care patients in three districts in South Africa

SOURCE: Psychology, Health & Medicine
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, P.Naidoo, G.Matseke, J.Louw, G.Mchunu, B.Tutshana
KEYWORDS: ALCOHOL ABUSE, HIV/AIDS, POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTRES, RISK BEHAVIOUR, TUBERCULOSIS
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7406

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Abstract

High rates of tuberculosis (TB) and TB/HIV co-infection is often linked with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, which is further associated with poor health outcomes. In a country such as South Africa where rates of these infectious diseases are high, it is concerning that there is limited/no data on prevalence rates of mental disorders such as PTSD and its associated factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of PTSD symptoms and associated factors in TB, TB retreatment and/or TB-HIV co-infected primary public health-care patients in three districts in South Africa. Brief screening self-report tools were used to measure: PTSD symptoms, psychological distress (anxiety and depression) and alcohol misuse. Other relevant measures, such as adherence to medication, stressful life events and sexual risk taking behaviours, were obtained through structured questions. A total of 4900 public primary care adult patients from clinics in high TB burden districts from three provinces in South Africa participated. All the patients screened positive for TB (either new or retreatment cases). The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was 29.6%. Patients who screened positive for PTSD symptoms and psychological distress were more likely to be on antidepressant medication. Factors that predicted PTSD symptoms were poverty, residing in an urban area, psychological distress, suicide attempt, alcohol and/or drug use before sex, unprotected sex, TB-HIV co-infected and the number of other chronic conditions. Health-care systems should be strengthened to improve delivery of mental health care, by focusing on existing programmes and activities, such as those which address the prevention and treatment of TB and HIV.