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Common mental disorders in TB/HIV co-infected patients in Ethiopia

Amare Deribew12*, Markos Tesfaye3, Yohannes Hailmichael4, Ludwig Apers5, Gemeda Abebe26, Luc Duchateau7 and Robert Colebunders25

Author affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

2 Department of Epidemiology and Social Sciences, Antwerp University, Antwerp, Belgium

3 Department of psychiatry, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

4 Department of Health Service management, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

5 Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

6 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Pathology, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

7 Department of Physiology and Biometrics, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

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Citation and License

BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:201  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-201

Published: 9 July 2010



The relationship between TB/HIV co-infection and common mental disorders (CMD) has been scarcely investigated. In this study, we compared the occurrence of CMD in TB/HIV co-infected and non-co-infected HIV patients in Ethiopia.


We conducted a cross sectional study in three hospitals in Ethiopia from February to April, 2009. The study population consisted of 155 TB/HIV co-infected and 465 non-co-infected HIV patients. CMD was assessed through face to face interviews by trained clinical nurses using the Kessler 10 scale. Several risk factors for CMD were assessed using a structured questionnaire.


TB/HIV co-infected patients had significantly (p = 0.001) greater risk of CMD (63.7%) than the non-co-infected patients (46.7%). When adjusted for the effect of potential confounding variables, the odds of having CMD for TB/HIV co-infected individuals was 1.7 times the odds for non-co-infected patients [OR = 1.7, (95%CI: 1.0, 2.9)]. Individuals who had no source of income [OR = 1.7, (95%CI: 1.1, 2.8)], and day labourers [OR = 2.4, 95%CI: 1.2, 5.1)] were more likely to have CMD as compared to individuals who had a source of income and government employees respectively. Patients who perceived stigma [OR = 2.2, 95%CI: 1.5, 3.2)] and who rate their general health as "poor" [OR = 10.0, 95%CI: 2.8, 35.1)] had significantly greater risk of CMD than individual who did not perceive stigma or who perceived their general health to be "good".


TB/HIV control programs should develop guidelines to screen and treat CMD among TB/HIV co-infected patients. Screening programs should focus on individuals with no source of income, jobless people and day labourers.