Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide and are significantly associated with multiple comorbid disorders including mental disorders such as psychological distress (PD). At increased risk of PD are CVD patient sub-categories that not only require chronic therapy but also need follow up with continuous blood tests and dose adjustments (like the patients on warfarin). However, not much has been done to ascertain the burden of PD among patients on warfarin in Uganda.
To determine the prevalence and factors associated with PD among patients on anticoagulation with warfarin at the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI).
In this analytical cross-sectional study, 197 participants were sampled from adults on warfarin attending the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) out patient clinic. The Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20), a tool with a total maximum score of 20 and cutoff for PD at ≥6 was used to determine the presence of PD among participants, and a socio-demographic questionnaire to document the socio-demographic characteristics of the subjects. Additional questions including the underlying CVD diagnosis, medications used (besides warfarin) and presence of chronic illnesess were also assessed. Bi-variable and multi-variabe logistic regression analysis techniques were used to examine the associations between the dependent and independent variables.
The prevalence of PD was 32%. The unemployed participants were 4.5 times more likely to have PD (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]4.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12–18.62, p = 0.04). Participants who had experienced social stressors were more likely to have PD (aOR: 11.38, CI: 3.60–36.04, p < 0.01). Other factors associated with a higher likelihood of having PD included: presence of other chronic comorbidities (aOR: 3.69, CI: 1.24–11.02, p = 0.02) and concomitant use of loop diuretics (aOR: 4.13, CI: 1.67–10.19,p < 0.01). A shorter length of time on warfarin (7–24 months) lowered the likelihood of PD (aOR: 0.23, CI: 0.07–0.74, p = 0.01).
The prevalence of PD was high among patients on warfarin in this low income setting and there is a need to characterize the specific psychiatric disorders in patients with CVD. Interventions that address the high burden of PD are urgently needed in this setting.