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ORIGINAL RESEARCH REPORT
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 148-154

Knowledge and Attitude toward Depression among Adolescents Attending Secondary Schools in an Urban Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria: A cross sectional survey


1 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos; Department of Community Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Awujoola F Lesi
Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_78_20

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Background: Globally, depression is the fourth leading cause of mental illness and disability among adolescents (15–19 years). This study aimed to assess knowledge and attitude toward depression among adolescents attending secondary schools. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study among 257 adolescents attending secondary schools in an urban area of Lagos State. Multistage sampling technique was used to identify appropriate schools, and a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire that contained a vignette depicting depression was used to collect data. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: Overall, 257 students participated in the study. The mean age was 15.8 ± 1.3 years. Majority (91.5%) had prior knowledge about depression. The most common sources of information were from school (38.9%), family and friends (23.3%), and social media (20.6%). Majority (87.9%) correctly recognized depression in the vignette. Attempted suicide and social withdrawal from friends (71% and 67.3%, respectively) were less recognized as symptoms of depression. Similarly, only 36.2% recognized depression as a real medical condition. Students in science (76.9%) had better knowledge about depression than students in arts (43.5%) and commerce (43.8%) (P = 0.006). The teacher was considered as the primary access to care compared to the need for specialized care. Majority of the respondents had positive attitudes toward depression and 75.4% believed that people with depression should not be stigmatized. Conclusion: This study showed important gaps in knowledge of causes, symptoms, and the need for professional or psychiatric care of depression. It highlights the need to promote mental health literacy in schools.


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