Objectives: The present research sought to determine the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms among patients with chronic illness admitted to the medical ward at the University Hospital of the West Indies and the association between depression and sociodemographic characteristics among these patients.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study utilizing researcher administered questionnaires with the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) as the screening tool for depression. The study consisted of 76 participants and data were collected over a one-month period.
Results: The study revealed that one in three persons admitted to the medical ward during the period under study exhibited depressive symptomatology. However, no significant differences were noted between sociodemographic characteristics and the prevalence of depression.
Conclusion: The high prevalence of depression among patients with chronic illnesses admitted to the medical ward suggests need for greater attention to psychiatric evaluation in the care and treatment of these patients.