Depression and Alcohol Use Behaviours among Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Mwanza, Tanzania; A Cross-Sectional Study

  • Matiko Mwita Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Jane Cletus Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Magreth Buzoya Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Maria Beda Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Catherine Magwiza Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Gema Simbee Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
Keywords: Depression, Alcohol Use, Mental Health, Teachers, Mwanza, Tanzania
Share Article:


Background: Depressive disorders and alcohol use disorders are highly prevalent in the workplace and have an enormously negative impact on work performance, productivity, absenteeism, and disability costs. Little is known about the burden among primary and secondary school teachers in Tanzania. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Mwanza City in the Lake and Western zones of the United Republic of Tanzania aimed at determining the prevalence and factors associated with depression and alcohol use behaviours among teachers where primary and secondary school teachers from both private and public schools were involved. A total of 300 teachers were recruited and interviewed using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). A systematic sampling approach was used to select both schools and participants. Results: The mean age of the participants was 36.1 (SD = 8.465), the majority of the participants were from primary and public schools, 60.67% and 55.67%, respectively. Using cut-off points of four and eight for PHQ-9 and AUDIT, respectively, 51% of the participants had symptoms of depression, and 16% had harmful alcohol use. While the male gender, being married, having a low number of children, and degree level of education was statistically less likely to be associated with depression, on the other hand, male gender, age group of 41-50, being married and having a high number of children were statistically more likely to be associated with harmful alcohol use. Limitations: A cross-sectional study was used, which relies on self-report of symptoms which could lead to recall bias. Despite that, the study was done among both public and private primary and secondary school teachers from the largest city in the lake and western zone of Tanzania, which serves a diverse population still, and regional differences could be there. Conclusion: Depression and alcohol use disorders are high among a sample of our teachers in Mwanza Tanzania; further studies are needed to explore and measure the incidence, causal inference and the association between outcomes and risk factors.


Download data is not yet available.


Richmond, M. K., Shepherd, J. L., Pampel, F. C., Wood, R. C., Reimann, B., & Fischer, L. (2014). Associations between substance use, depression, and work outcomes: An evaluation study of screening and brief intervention in a large Employee Assistance Program. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 29(1), 1-18.

Üstün, T. B., Ayuso-Mateos, J. L., Chatterji, S., Mathers, C., & Murray, C. J. (2004). Global burden of depressive disorders in the year 2000. The British journal of psychiatry, 184(5), 386-392.

Peacock, A., Leung, J., Larney, S., Colledge, S., Hickman, M., Rehm, J., ... & Degenhardt, L. (2018). Global statistics on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use: 2017 status report. Addiction, 113(10), 1905-1926.

Sadock, B. J. (2007). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 70(6), 940.

Depression, W. H. O. (2017). Other common mental disorders: global health estimates. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1-24.

Mwita, M., Beda, M., & Kidenya, B. (2020). Prevalence and Correlates of Depression among Bugando Medical Centre and Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences staff–Mwanza Tanzania, A Cross Sectional Study. Neurol Res Surg, 3(1), 1-5.

Lee, H., Sohn, M., & Choi, M. (2013). Factors associated with depression among workers by socio-economic factors, health behaviors, and characteristics of work environment. Korean Journal of Health Education and Promotion, 30(5), 125-138.

Davis, L., Uezato, A., Newell, J. M., & Frazier, E. (2008). Major depression and comorbid substance use disorders. Current opinion in psychiatry, 21(1), 14-18.

Frone, M. R. (1999). Work stress and alcohol use. Alcohol Research & Health, 23(4), 284.

Frone, M. R. (2004). Alcohol, drugs, and workplace safety outcomes: A view from a general model of employee substance use and productivity.

Epstein, P. M., Burns, C., & Conlon, H. A. (2010). Substance abuse among registered nurses. AAOHN journal, 58(12), 513-516.

Mukhopadhyay, S., & Biswas, P. (2016). Socio-Demographic, Clinical Correlates and Predictors of Adverse Outcome in Substance Use Disorder (Sud) Patients Attending the De-Addiction Clinic of a Tertiary Care Hospital in Eastern India. Bengal Journal of Psychiatry, 1-12.

Mkumbo, K. (2014). Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Work Stress in Academia in Tanzania. International Journal of Higher Education, 3(1), 1-11.

Monahan, P. O., Shacham, E., Reece, M., Kroenke, K., Ong’Or, W. O., Omollo, O., ... & Ojwang, C. (2009). Validity/reliability of PHQ-9 and PHQ-2 depression scales among adults living with HIV/AIDS in western Kenya. Journal of general internal medicine, 24(2), 189-197.

Kroenke, K., & Spitzer, R. L. (2002). The PHQ-9: a new depression diagnostic and severity measure. Psychiatric annals, 32(9), 509-515.

Adewuya, A. O., Ola, B. A., & Afolabi, O. O. (2006). Validity of the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) as a screening tool for depression amongst Nigerian university students. Journal of affective disorders, 96(1-2), 89-93.

Daeppen, J. B., Yersin, B., Landry, U., Pécoud, A., & Decrey, H. (2000). reliability and validity of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) imbedded within a general health risk screening questionnaire: results of a survey in 332 primary care patients. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 24(5), 659-665.

Robson, L. S., Macdonald, S., Gray, G. C., Van Eerd, D. L., & Bigelow, P. L. (2012). A descriptive study of the OHS management auditing methods used by public sector organisations conducting audits of workplaces: Implications for audit reliability and validity. Safety science, 50(2), 181-189.

Manea, L., Gilbody, S., & McMillan, D. (2012). Optimal cut-off score for diagnosing depression with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9): a meta-analysis. Cmaj, 184(3), E191-E196.

Bohn, M. J., Babor, T. F., & Kranzler, H. R. (1995). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): validation of a screening instrument for use in medical settings. Journal of studies on alcohol, 56(4), 423-432.

Ostacher, M. J. (2007). Comorbid alcohol and substance abuse dependence in depression: impact on the outcome of antidepressant treatment. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 30(1), 69-76.

Mackie, C. J., Conrod, P., & Brady, K. (2012). Depression and Substance Use. Drug Abuse and Addiction in Medical Illness.

Özgencil, E., Ünal, N., Oral, M., Okyavuz, Ü., Alanoglu, Z., & Tulunay, M. (2004). Depression and burnout syndrome in intensive care unit nurses. Critical Care, 8(1), 1-2.

Abas, M. A., & Broadhead, J. C. (1997). Depression and anxiety among women in an urban setting in Zimbabwe. Psychological medicine, 27(1), 59-71.

Stander, M. P., Korb, F. A., de Necker, M., de Beer, J. C., Miller-Janson, H. E., & Moont, R. (2016). Depression and the Impact on Productivity in the Workplace: Findings from a South African Survey on Depression in the Workplace. J Depress Anxiety, 2(12), 1-8.

Bitew, T. (2014). Prevalence and risk factors of depression in Ethiopia: a review. Ethiopian journal of health sciences, 24(2), 161-169.

LaMontagne, A., Louie, A., Keegel, T., Ostry, A., & Shaw, A. (2006). Workplace stress in Victoria: Developing a systems approach.

Brownhill, S., Wilhelm, K., Barclay, L., & Parker, G. (2002). Detecting depression in men: A matter of guesswork. International Journal of Mens Health, 1, 259-280.

Adewuya, A. O., Ola, B. A., Aloba, O. O., Mapayi, B. M., & Oginni, O. O. (2006). Depression amongst Nigerian university students. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 41(8), 674-678.

Mbatia, J., Jenkins, R., Singleton, N., & White, B. (2009). Prevalence of alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking, tobacco and drug use in urban Tanzania, and their associated risk factors. International journal of environmental research and public health, 6(7), 1991-2006.

Oliver, J. M., Reed, C. K., & Smith, B. W. (1998). Patterns of psychological problems in university undergraduates: Factor structure of symptoms of anxiety and depression, physical symptoms, alcohol use, and eating problems. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 26(3), 211-232.

Choi, E. S., Jung, H. S., Kim, S. H., & Park, H. (2010). The influence of workplace violence on work-related anxiety and depression experience among Korean employees. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 40(5), 650-661.

5 August, 2022
How to Cite
Mwita, M., Cletus, J., Buzoya, M., Beda, M., Magwiza, C., & Simbee, G. (2022). Depression and Alcohol Use Behaviours among Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Mwanza, Tanzania; A Cross-Sectional Study. East African Journal of Health and Science, 5(1), 239-249.