Prevalence and predictors of depressive and anxiety symptoms in a sample of women who use drugs in Tanzania: the key role of drug use stigma

Haneefa T. Saleem, Nora S. West, Samuel Likindikoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Globally, women who use drugs face multiple health vulnerabilities, including poor mental health. Little is known about the mental health burden among women who use drugs in sub-Saharan Africa. This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence and predictors of depressive and anxiety symptoms among a sample of women who use drugs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Methods: We administered a cross-sectional survey to a non-random sample of 200 women who use drugs in Dar es Salaam between November 2018 and March 2019. We used descriptive statistics to characterize the study sample and fitted separate logistic regression models to assess depressive and anxiety symptoms and their predictors. Results: The percentages of women reporting depressive and anxiety symptoms were 67.5% and 43.7%, respectively. Internalized drug use stigma (AOR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.03–1.75) and prior attempts to stop heroin use (AOR = 2.99, 95% CI: 1.28-7.00) were associated with depressive symptoms. Enacted drug use stigma from health workers (AOR = 2.02, 95% CI: 1.34–3.04) and anticipated drug use stigma from family (AOR = 1.49, 95% CI: 1.02–2.16) were associated with anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: Depressive and anxiety symptoms were high among our study sample, with higher reports of symptoms of depression than anxiety. Drug use stigma was a key factor that contributed to elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number517
JournalBMC psychiatry
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Drug use stigma
  • Tanzania
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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