The prevalence and correlates of depression among patients with chronic diseases in the United Arab Emirates

A. J. Alkaabi, A. Alkous, K. Mahmoud, A. AlMansoori, Iffat Elbarazi, Abubaker Suliman, Zufishan Alam, Fatheya AlAwadi, Fatima Al-Maskari

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Background Chronic diseases constitute a major public health problem in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Chronic diseases have been found to be associated with an increased prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms. Depression can have detrimental effect on the prognosis of the disease and quality of life in patients. Aims and objectives This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and correlates of depression in a sample of patients suffering from chronic disease in Al-Ain city, UAE. Materials and methods A cross-sectional survey based study was conducted with 417 participants recruited from seven primary health care centers of Al-Ain city. Men and women aged 18 years and above suffering from chronic disease filled the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Univariate and multivariable logistic regressions were performed on the collected data to investigate correlates of different factors with depression. Data was analyzed using SPSS (version 26). The study was approved by Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) Human Ethics Research Committee. Results The majority 62.41% (n = 254) of the sample were females, 57.97% (n = 240) aged above 55 years and with a median (Q25, Q75) duration of chronic disease of 8 (4, 15) years. The prevalence of depression was 21.1% (95% CI: 17.5%–25.3%). With severe depression was in 1.7% and mild-moderate in 34.7% of the participants. Depression severity was statistically significantly associated with increasing age (p = 0.006), low level of education (p<0.001), presence of asthma (p = 0.007) and heart disease (p = 0.013). Unadjusted logistic regression reported that presence of depression was significantly associated with female gender (cOR = 1.8, [95% CI; 1.1–3.1], p = 0.025), and presence of chronic kidney disease (cOR = 4.9, [95% CI; 1.3–20.2], p = 0.020) and heart disease (cOR = 2.9, [95% CI; 1.6–5.4], p = 0.001) longer duration of disease in years (cOR = 1.04, [95% CI; 1.01–1.07], p = 0.003). However, in the adjusted logistic regression analysis, participants with heart disease (aOR = 2.8, [95% CI; 1.4–5.5], p = 0.004), and with longer duration of disease (aOR = 1.04, [1.01–1.07], p = 0.014) remained significantly associated statistically with higher chance of having depression. Conclusion The prevalence of depression was quite high and the study highlights for health care professionals and policy makers, the importance of mental health support as part of a comprehensive management plan for patients with chronic diseases. A multidisciplinary comprehensive program will improve the long-term outcomes of these patients. Patients with chronic diseases may need more support and counseling at primary health care levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0278818
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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