Depressive symptoms and associated factors among caregivers of children with sickle cell disease attending sickle cell clinic of Mulago National Referral hospital Kampala, Uganda.
Nalwoga, Esther Grace
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Introduction: Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) remains a global public health burden. Each year more than 300,000 babies are born with SCD worldwide, with the highest prevalence being registered in Africa, and this predisposes their caregivers to depression. A lower quality of life among caregivers of children with SCD basing on different parameters such as caregiver’s burden, health-related quality of life, and psychosocial burden, psychological burden including depression, and parenting stress has been reported. Depressive symptoms among caregivers have not been well studied in Uganda, for only a few studies have been conducted assessing psychological burden among caregivers of sickle cell patients, yet Sickle Cell Disease poses a significant burden among Ugandans. This study therefore aimed to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms among caregivers and identifying associated factors will help raise awareness about the existence of depression among caregivers of children with SCD. Methods and Materials: A quantitative cross-sectional study where interviewer administered questionnaires where used to collect data from254 caregivers of children with sickle cell disease who were enrolled. Data were checked for completeness, entered into SPSS, cleaned, and analyzed. Univariate analysis was done using descriptive statistics while binary logistic regression was conducted to assess factors associated with depressive symptoms. Statistical significance was predicted by a p-value of less than 0.05, the strength of association was measured using odds ratios and 95% confidence interval. Findings are presented as texts, tables, and charts. Study Findings: Results: The Prevalence of depressive symptoms among caregivers of children with sickle cell disease in this study was 54.7%. Unemployment (aOR =0.014 95% CI: O.127-0.937, P=0.037) and experiencing two or more painful crises in one year (aOR =0.014 95%CI: 0.004-0.051, P=0.000) were significantly associated with depressive symptoms among caregivers. Conclusion and Recommendation: To achieve optimal caregiver and child outcomes, periodic screening during review visits should be encouraged, to facilitate early detection of those at risk and prompt intervention.