Primary health care workers' knowledge and attitudes towards depression and its management in the MeHPric-P project, Lagos, Nigeria
Abstract Objective This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge, perceived challenges and attitude of primary health care (PHC) workers in Lagos to depression and its management in the PHC. Methods Health workers ( n =607) from 49 "flagship" PHCs in Lagos were evaluated for their level of knowledge, experience, competence, attitude and perceived challenges to managing depression in the primary care using a case vignette. Results More than half (56.2%) of the health workers correctly diagnosed depression. The most endorsed causative factors were "Psycho-social" (77.3%), but "spiritual factors" were endorsed by 36.2%. While only 39.4% agreed that the depressed patient is best managed in a PHC, 86.2% would support treating the patient in their PHC if their capacity is enhanced. Top identified challenges were "heavy work schedule" (68.5%) and "lack of competence of the PHC staff" (67.5%). Over 42% had poor attitude towards depressed patient. Having a mental health training was the major factor that predicted good knowledge (OR 4.52, 95%CI 2.96–7.00) and good attitude (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.48–3.17). Conclusions For successful scale up of mental health services in LMICs, the design of mental health training curriculum for PHC workers should consider their knowledge, experience, competence level, perception and attitudes.