Open Access Research

Pattern of mental ill health morbidities following hysterectomy for benign gynaecological disorders among Nigerian women

Michael A Okunlola1*, Celestine Umuerri1, Olayinka O Omigbodun2, Imran O Morhason-Bello1, Stella N Okonkwo1 and Oladosu A Ojengbede1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

2 Department of Psychiatry, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

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International Journal of Mental Health Systems 2009, 3:18  doi:10.1186/1752-4458-3-18

Published: 30 July 2009



to compare the pre and post hysterectomy mental ill health (MIH) status and also, to determine whether there is any association with the surgical indication.


An observational study, conducted among women scheduled for hysterectomy at the University College Hospital, Ibadan from January till June 2005. The MIH morbidities were assessed using a validated general health questionnaire (GHQ) before and after the surgery by trained research assistant. The score of 4 and above was used as the cut off. Cross tabulations were performed to detect any association and also to compare pre and post hysterectomy mental health status. The level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.


Of the 50 women recruited, 45 participated in the study. The age range of the participants was 35 to 63 years with a mean of 48.6 (SD = 0.6) years. Anxiety related disorder was present in 20 (44.4%), and depression in 3 (6.7%) before hysterectomy. Post surgery, there was significant increase in those with anxiety by 6.8% and a reduction in the proportion of depressive illness by 2.3%. Uterine fibroid as a preoperative diagnosis, had significant association among those with anxiety related disorder (68.4%) and depression (10.5%).


This study suggests that mental ill health may complicates hysterectomy for benign uterine pathology among Nigerian women, and that anxiety related disorders increases after operation with the highest proportion in those with clinical diagnosis of Uterine Fibroid. We recommend adequate preoperative counseling using properly trained psychologists when affordable to minimize these morbidities.