Prevalence of mental distress in adults with and without a history of tuberculosis in an urban Zambian community

Tila Mainga, Ab Schaap, Nathaniel Scherer, Islay Mactaggart, Kwame Shanaube, Helen Ayles, Virginia Bond, Robert C Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

People with tuberculosis (TB) are susceptible to mental distress. Mental distress can be driven by biological and socio-economic factors including poverty. These factors can persist beyond TB treatment completion yet there is minimal evidence about the mental health of TB survivors. A cross-sectional TB prevalence survey of adults was conducted in an urban community in Zambia. Survey participants were administered the five-item Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-5) mental health screening tool to measure mental distress. Associations between primary exposure (history of TB) and other co-variates with mental distress were investigated using logistic regression. Of 3,393 study participants, 120 were TB survivors (3.5%). The overall prevalence of mental distress (SRQ-5 ≥ 4) in the whole study population was 16.9% (95% CI 15.6%-18.1%). Previous TB history was not associated with mental distress (OR 1.20, 95% CI 0.75-1.92, p-value 1.66). Mental distress was associated with being female (OR 1.23 95% CI 1.00-1.51), older age (OR 1.71 95% CI 1.09-2.68) and alcohol abuse (OR 1.81 95% CI 1.19-2.76). Our findings show no association between a previous TB history and mental distress. However, approximately one in six people in the study population screened positive for mental distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e89
JournalGlobal Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2023


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