Original Research

Prevalence of depressive symptoms and quality of life among patients with diabetes mellitus with and without HIV infection: A South African study

Yonela Qubekile, Saeeda Paruk, Farhanah Paruk
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 28 | a1762 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v28i0.1762 | © 2022 Yonela Qubekile, Saeeda Paruk, Farhanah Paruk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2021 | Published: 25 February 2022

About the author(s)

Yonela Qubekile, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Saeeda Paruk, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Farhanah Paruk, Department of Rheumatology, Faculty of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are both associated with increased risk of mood disorders and poorer quality of life (QOL). This association has not been explored in patients living with comorbid DM and HIV.

Aim: To describe the prevalence of depressive symptoms and impact on the QOL in patients with DM living with and without HIV attending a public sector hospital in South Africa.

Setting: A medical outpatient clinic at a state regional hospital.

Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire pilot survey was conducted amongst 101 patients with DM attending a specialist medical outpatient service. The assessment was conducted using a structured socio-demographic and clinical questionnaire, the patient health questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) for depressive symptoms and the World Health Organization QOL scale. The HIV status was confirmed from the clinical records. The correlates of depressive symptomatology in the participants with DM living with and without HIV were identified using t-tests.

Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms in the participants with DM was 36%. Moderate to severe depression was associated with female gender (p = 0.03) and low educational level (p = 0.02) but not with HIV comorbidity or clinical characteristics of DM. The QOL was influenced by moderate to severe depressive symptoms (QOL in physical p < 0.218 and environmental p < 0.001 domains), but not HIV status (p = 0.218).

Conclusion: A substantial proportion of people with DM reported depressive symptoms, which is slightly higher than the average reported in other out-patient studies. The association of depression with poor QOL highlights the need for integrated mental health access in medical outpatient services. The lack of association between comorbid HIV status and DM with depression or QOL needs to be further explored.


HIV; type 2 diabetes mellitus; depression; quality of life; South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Depression among people living with HIV at a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Zothile L. Vezi, Selvandran Rangiah, Kantharuben Naidoo
South African Family Practice  vol: 66  issue: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.4102/safp.v66i1.5821