Depression, Anxiety and Stress Among a Sample of Chronic Hepatitis C Patients in AL-Najaf Province /Iraq
Previous studies in Euro-American countries have shown that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection have increased levels of neuropsychiatric symptoms. While chronic hepatitis C virus infection has been reported in Arab countries such as Iraq, there is little studies about the neuropsychological burden associated with chronic hepatitis C among patients in the Arab region. The aim of the current study was to measure the prevalence and level of severity of depression, anxiety and stress among a sample of chronic hepatitis C patients in AL-Najaf province /Iraq. The current study was cross-sectional study carried out on (110) already diagnosed chronic viral hepatitis C patients who attended the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Center/Al-Sader Medical City/Najaf/Iraq during November 2018 to May 2019. In addition, (100) apparently healthy subjects were included as a control group. The Arabic version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to assess mental health. Both the prevalence rates and severity levels of depression, anxiety and stress were significantly higher in chronic hepatitis C patients compared to the control group (P<0.001). Stress level is negatively correlated with age and is significantly more in single. Anxiety level is less with a higher level of education. Depression was significantly higher in those having children. The study indicates that the presence of chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with a higher risk of psychological burden. Accordingly, meeting the psychological needs of such patients would need to be addressed.
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