Depression Research and Treatment
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Sociodemographic and Clinical Variables of Depression among Patients with Epilepsy in a Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Nigeria

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Depression Research and Treatment publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies related to all aspects of depression

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Research Article

Depressive Symptoms among Haramaya University Students in Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background. The prevalence of mental health problems including depression is increasing in severity and number among higher institution students, and it has a lot of negative consequences like poor academic performance and committing suicide. Identifying the prevalence and associated factors of mental illness among higher institution students is important in order to administer appropriate preventions and interventions. In Ethiopia, only a few studies tried to report associated factors of depression among university students. Objective. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with depressive symptoms among Haramaya University students, Ethiopia. Methods. Institution-based, cross-sectional study design was conducted among 1040 students. A standard, self-administered questionnaire was used to get data from a sample of randomly selected 1040 undergraduate university students using a multistage systematic random sampling technique. The questionnaire used was the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scale which is a self-report 21-item scale that is used to assess the presence of depressive symptoms. All 21 items are rated on a three-point scale (0 to 3). Each question is scored on a 0 to 3 scale, and total scores range from 0 to 63, with higher scores reflecting greater levels of depressive symptoms. The questionnaire has been well validated as a measure of depressive symptomatology with scores 1-13 indicating minimal depressive symptoms, 14-19 showing mild depressive symptoms, 20-28 showing moderate depressive symptoms, and 29-63 indicating severe depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify variables independently associated with depressive symptoms after we dichotomized the depressive symptoms screening tool to “yes/no” depressive symptoms. This means students who did not report any depressive symptoms were given “no” depressive symptoms and who reported at least one (≥1) depressive symptoms were given “yes” (depressive symptoms). Results. A total of 1022 (98.3%) out of 1040 students participated in this study. The mean age of participants was 20.9 years (), and the majority of them (76.0%) were male students. Prevalence of depressive symptoms among undergraduate students was 26.8% (95% CI: 24.84, 28.76). Among those who had reported depressive symptoms: 10%, 12%, 4%, and 1% of students reported minimal, mild, moderate, and severe depressive symptoms, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression analysis in the final model revealed that being a first-year student (AOR 6.99, 95% CI: 2.31, 21.15, value < 0.001), being a second-year student (AOR 6.25, 95% CI: 2.05, 19.07, value < 0.001), and being a third-year student (AOR 3.85, 95% CI: 1.26, 11.78, value < 0.018) and being divorced/widowed (AOR 5.91, 95% CI: 1.31, 26.72, value < 0.021), current drinking alcohol (AOR 2.53, 95% CI: 1.72,3.72, value < 0.001), current smoking cigarettes (AOR 1.71, 95% CI: 1.02, 2.86, value < 0.042), and current use of illicit substances (AOR 2.20, 95% CI: 1.26, 3.85, value < 0.006) were independently associated with depressive symptoms. Having no religion and currently chewing Khat were statistically significantly associated with depressive symptoms in the binary logistic regression analysis but not in the final model. Conclusions. The prevalence of depressive symptoms among university students in this study is high relative to the general population. Sociodemographic factors year of study and current substance use were identified as associated factors of depressive symptoms. Recommendations. This finding suggests the need for the provision of mental health services at the university, including screening, counseling, and effective treatment. Families need to closely follow their students’ health status by having good communication with the universities, and they have to play their great role in preventing depression and providing appropriate treatment as needed. The governments and policy-makers should stand with universities by supporting and establishing matured policies which helps universities to have mental health service centers. Generally, the university and other stakeholders should consider these identified associated factors for prevention and control of mental health problems of university students.

Research Article

Magnitude of Antenatal Depression and Associated Factors among Pregnant Women in West Badewacho Woreda, Hadiyya Zone, South Ethiopia: Community Based Cross Sectional Study

Background. Antenatal depression is prevalent and serious problems that is associated with psychosocial factors, obstetric history, and history of psychiatric illness. Evidence on prevalence and factors associated with antenatal depression at community level is limited in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was assessing the prevalence of antenatal depression and associated factors among pregnant women in West Badewacho Woreda, Hadiyya Zone, South Ethiopia, 2018. Methods. A community based cross sectional study was conducted from March 15 to April 12, 2018. To draw a total sample size of 541 pregnant women, multistage sampling technique was used. Pretested semi-structured questionnaire and standardized scale was used to collect data from each study subject. Data were entered and cleaned using Epi-Data version 3.1 and exported to SPSS version 23 for analysis. Bivariate analysis was carried out to see crude association between each independent variable and outcome variable. Odds ratios at 95%CI were computed to measure the strength of the association between the outcome and the independent variables. -value < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant in multivariate analysis. Results. The prevalence of antenatal depression in the study population was 23.3% (CI: 19.8–26.8). Factors significantly associated with antenatal depression were marital status other than married (single, widowed, divorced) [AOR: (2.807; 95%CI: (1.268, 6.227); -value = 0.042], history of previous depression [AOR: 3.414; 95%CI: (1.154, 12.999); -value = 0.001] family history of mental illness [AOR: 3.874; 95%CI: (1.653, 7.052); -value = 0.028], recent violence from intimate partner [AOR: 3.223; 95%CI: (1.359, 7.643); -value = 0.008], unsatisfactory marital relation [AOR: 7.568; 95%CI: (3.943, 14.523); -value < 0.001], lack of adequate social support [AOR: 5.491; 95%CI: (2.086, 14.451); -value < 0.001] and unplanned current pregnancy [AOR: 2.013; 95%CI: (1.025, 3.953); -value = 0.042]. Conclusion. The prevalence of antenatal depression in west Badewacho woreda was high and it is associated with marital status, unplanned current pregnancy, history of previous depression, family history of mental illness, recent violence from intimate partner, poor marital satisfaction level, and poor social support. Improving maternal and child health services and introducing screening for depression as part of routine antenatal assessment to curb antenatal depression should get due attention.

Research Article

Effect of Three Types of Activities on Improving Mood and Enjoyment in a Brief Online Depression Study

The goal of this study is to determine whether different types of activities have a differential effect on mood and enjoyment. Methods. A secondary analysis of the data of 754 participants (Mage = 35.8 years, SDage = 12.6; MPHQ-9 = 7.6, SDPHQ-9 = 7.0) who were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) to participate in a brief online study. Participants completed an activity log and reported retrospectively about three types of activities (Pleasant, Meaningful, and Mastery) at baseline and one week follow-up. A mixed effects ANOVA was used to analyze the effect of weekly activities on mood, and a temporal analysis model was used to test for the effect of daily activities on enjoyment. Results. Participants who reported higher number of Mastery activities for the week had higher mood ratings at follow-up (F (1, 39) = 4.89, ), regardless of depression status at baseline. Pleasant and Meaningful activities did not have a significant effect on mood. Daily engagement in any of the three activity types increased enjoyment of that day (Pleasant: , t (1811) = 46.73, ; Meaningful: , t (1814) = 11.65, ; Mastery: , t (1816) = 13.07, ]. Conclusions. These findings contribute to the understanding on how brief behavioral activation interventions delivered online may influence participants’ mood and enjoyment, and can inform clinicians’ recommendations about types of activities.

Research Article

Prevalence of Mental Distress and Associated Factors among Samara University Students, Northeast Ethiopia

Background. Empirical findings have indicated that higher institution students experience a higher prevalence of mental distress compared to the general population. Understanding the magnitude and associated factors of mental distress in university students would be helpful to practitioners and policymakers in Ethiopia. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence and associated factors of mental distress among Samara university students, Northeast Ethiopia. Methods. Institution based cross-sectional study design was conducted in Samara university from December to June 2018. A simple random sampling technique was employed to select the study participants. Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20 (SRQ-20) was used to measure the mental distress of students. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to examine the association between sociodemographic and psychosocial factors with the mental distress of students. Results. The proportion of students with mental distress were found to be 53.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 48.0%, 58.0%). Female students were more likely to be mentally distressed compared to male students (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 4.66; 95% CI: 2.81, 7.71). Ever khat use (AOR: 3.09; 95% CI: 1.74, 5.50) and poor sleep quality (AOR: 2.23; 95% CI: 1.12, 3.66) were significantly associated with mental distress of students. Conclusion. Our study indicates that the proportion of mental distress was found to be higher among Samara university students as compared to previously published studies in Ethiopia. Female students, ever khat users and those with poor sleep quality were associated with mental distress. There is a need for evidence-based interventional strategies such as self-help measures, sleep hygiene and peer support, as well as professional mental health services as part of student health services that would be helpful to reduce the burden of mental distress of students.

Research Article

Antenatal and Postpartum Depression: Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors among Adolescents’ in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Background. Maternal depression is a major public health concern as it affects both mothers and their children. Antenatal depression, which is often underdiagnosed, has been associated with preterm labour, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction. Research has demonstrated that postpartum depression is associated with mother-infant bonding impairment, child abuse, child neglect, maternal substance abuse, and self-harm. Globally, the prevalence of depression in pregnant and postpartum adolescents varies. This paper reports on the findings of the prevalence of depression and its associated risk factors among pregnant and postpartum adolescents in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Methods. Data were generated by means of a descriptive cross-sectional study that was conducted between June and November 2017 utilizing a sample of 326 adolescent females accessing maternal health services in a medium-sized rural peripheral district hospital in Ugu, Southern KwaZulu-Natal. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale questionnaire was used to screen participating pregnant and postnatal adolescents for depression. A cut-off score of ≥13 was used to identify pregnant and postnatal adolescents with symptoms of depression. The data were analysed using R software. Results. The prevalence of depression among the pregnant participants was 15.9% (21/132), whereas it was 8.8% (17/194) among the postpartum participants. Antenatal depression was associated with physical violence (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 6.47, 95% CI 1.36-30.53, ) and verbal abuse (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.8, 95% CI 1.5-15.16, ). The pregnant participants who indicated they received a lot of support from their partners were 0.93% less likely to have depression. Postnatal depression was associated with physical violence (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7.32, 95% CI 1.66-29.44, ), verbal abuse (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.3, 95% CI 1.03-15.79, ), and intimate partner violence (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 9.58, 95% CI 1.58-48.82, ). Conclusion. The prevalence of antenatal depression was higher than postpartum depression in the study sample. In light of the findings, maternal healthcare professionals are cautioned to consider the mental health of pregnant and postpartum adolescents who seek their services at health facilities.

Research Article

Emotional Expression Processing and Depressive Symptomatology: Eye-Tracking Reveals Differential Importance of Lower and Middle Facial Areas of Interest

The current study explored the eye-tracking patterns of individuals with nonclinical levels of depressive symptomatology when processing emotional expressions. Fifty-three college undergraduates were asked to label 80 facial expressions of five emotions (anger, fear, happiness, neutral, and sadness) while an eye-tracker measured visit duration. We argue visit duration provides more detailed information for evaluating which features of the face are used more often for processing emotional faces. Our findings indicated individuals with nonclinical levels of depressive symptomatology process emotional expressions very similarly to individuals with little to no depressive symptoms, with one noteworthy exception. In general, individuals in our study visited the “T” region, lower and middle AOIs (Area of Interest), more often than upper and noncore areas, but the distinction between the lower and middle AOIs appears for happiness only when individuals are higher in depressive symptoms.

Depression Research and Treatment
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate35%
Submission to final decision85 days
Acceptance to publication77 days
CiteScore2.090
Impact Factor-
 Submit