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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
BMC Psychiatry. 2011; 11: 97.
Published online Jun 8, 2011. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-11-97
PMCID: PMC3118177
Prevalence of severe mental distress and its correlates in a population-based study in rural south-west Uganda
Eugene Kinyanda,corresponding author1 Laban Waswa,1 Kathy Baisley,2 and Dermot Maher1,2
1Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Entebbe, Uganda
2Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Eugene Kinyanda: Eugene.Kinyanda/at/; Laban Waswa: Laban.Waswa/at/; Kathy Baisley: kathy.baisley/at/; Dermot Maher: dermotmaher1/at/
Received March 12, 2011; Accepted June 8, 2011.
The problem of severe mental distress (SMD) in sub-Saharan Africa is difficult to investigate given that a substantial proportion of patients with SMD never access formal health care.
This study set out to investigate SMD and it's associated factors in a rural population-based cohort in south-west Uganda.
6,663 respondents aged 13 years and above in a general population cohort in southwestern Uganda were screened for probable SMD and possible associated factors.
0.9% screened positive for probable SMD. The factors significantly associated with SMD included older age, male sex, low socio-economic status, being a current smoker, having multiple or no sexual partners in the past year, reported epilepsy and consulting a traditional healer.
SMD in this study was associated with both socio-demographic and behavioural factors. The association between SMD and high risk sexual behaviour calls for the integration of HIV prevention in mental health care programmes in high HIV prevalence settings.
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