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Pilot study – depression in diabetic patients attending outpatient clinics at Rashid Hospital, Dubai: what is the prevalence and are there gender differences?
This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of depression among adults with diabetes mellitus attending an outpatient clinic in a tertiary care centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to identify factors related to its increased risk, including gender differences. The study design was a descriptive study (cross-sectional survey). A random sample of 72 type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients, 18–75 years of age, of whom 32 were male and 40 female, were interviewed during the period from March to June 2013 using a pre-structured questionnaire to gather information regarding sociodemographic data for each patient. The risk of developing depression was then identified using a self-administered questionnaire – the K6 depression scale. Of the 72 patients who completed the interview, 36.1% had a score above 20 on the K6 questionnaire, indicating high risk of depression. This study found that more than one-third of diabetic patients attending our clinics are at high risk of developing depression and both males and females are equally affected. It suggests that all patients with diabetes mellitus should be routinely screened for depression, and the provision of psychological services in diabetic clinics would help to address this issue.
There is a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus and depression in our population. The presence of depression may adversely affect the outcome of diabetic individuals. A quick, reliable and easy to use screening tool is essential for identifying patients at risk who can benefit from appropriate interventions.