Prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms among attendees of a tertiary care dermatology clinic in Muscat, Oman
Background: Various studies have suggested that depression is more prevalent among patients with skin disorders than in the general population. Most of the studies addressing this subject involve Euro-American populations.
Objectives: The present study aimed to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms among patients with dermatological disorders and, then, to decipher the clinical–demographic factors associated with depressive symptoms.
Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among a random sample of patients attending a dermatology clinic in Muscat. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used to screen for depressive symptoms. A logistic regression model was used to find the adjusted and unadjusted odds ratios (ORs).
Results: A total of 260 patients participated in this study, with a response rate of 81%. The prevalence of depression symptoms was 24%. According to regression analysis, family history of depression, comorbid medical disorders, and treatment with topicals or isotretinoin were significant predictors of depression (OR = 9.41, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.27–39.05, P = 0.002; OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.2–3.21, P = 0.05; OR = 2.28, 95% CI: 1.09–4.76, P = 0.028; and OR = 2.78; 95% CI: 1.08–7.19, P = 0.035, respectively).
Conclusion: This study indicates that depressive symptoms are common among patients with dermatological disorders in Oman, particularly in those with a family history of depression and medical comorbidities, and those who use a specific dermatological medication. Screening for depression in patients attending dermatology clinics is essential in order to detect and promptly treat patients suffering from depression.