Bella TT, Omigbodun OO
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2009 Jun;44(6):458-63
BACKGROUND: Social phobia is considered to be among the most common anxiety disorders. Despite its early onset, chronic course, disability and co-morbidity there is virtually no information about this disorder in young people in sub-Saharan Africa.
OBJECTIVES: The prevalence, correlates, and co-morbidity of social phobia in a Nigerian undergraduate university population were determined.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of students at the University of Ibadan was carried out. Instruments used were the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), the Alcohol Use Identification Test, the General Health Questionnaire and the WHO-Disability Assessment Schedule.
RESULTS: The lifetime and 12-month prevalence of social phobia were 9.4 and 8.5% respectively. On bivariate analysis, social phobia was significantly associated with lifetime and 12-month depression, psychological distress and reporting poor overall health (P < 0.05). Lifetime depression, psychological distress and perceived poor overall health remained strongly and independently associated with social phobia after regression analysis.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of social phobia among Nigerian university students is similar to what has been found in other parts of the world. There is a need for increased awareness of this disorder and its association with depression so that sufferers can receive early treatment to prevent long-term disability.