Perceptions of risky sexual behaviour among individuals with severe mental illness in Uganda

Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2024     |     PP. 403-417      |     PDF (209 K)    |     Pub. Date: December 11, 2022
DOI: 10.54647/sociology84947    84 Downloads     836 Views  


C. Birungi, Department of Psychiatry, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
W. Ssembajjwe, Mental Health Section, MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit/Senior Wellcome Trust Fellowship, Entebbe, Uganda; Statistical and Data Management Section, MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda
N Kiwanuka, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
E. Kinyanda, Department of Psychiatry, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda; Mental Health Section, MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit/Senior Wellcome Trust Fellowship, Entebbe, Uganda
N. Nakasujja, Department of Psychiatry, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda

To understand the perceptions of Risky Sexual Behavior(RSB) among individuals with Severe Mental illness(SMI) in Uganda.
Participants who perceive themselves as being at a high risk for RSB have a higher perception to RSB.
Research question
What is the perception of RSB among individuals with SMI?
This was a cross sectional study among patients with severe mental illness at a tertiary(Urban) and a secondary(Rural) hospitals. Consecutive patients were randomly included in the study and interviewed about their perceptions to RSB, socio-demographic, psychiatric illness, psychosocial environment on RSB. Individuals who were ill and unable to participate in the study. The outcome was perception to RSB. We used linear regression to ascertain the factors associated with RSB among people with SMI.The data was analyzed using STATA version 15.0 software and statistical significance was determined at a p-value <0.05
We enrolled 480 into the study, females (n = 211, 53.4%) and unmarried (68.1%, n = 267). the median age was 36 years, majority were unemployed (46.9%), single (38.2%) with formal education (80. 4%). There was a high perception to RSB among the young, p = 0.003, (β=-0.12, 95% CI: -0.19; -0.04), those with mental health stigma p<0.001 (β = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.20–0.40), having past sexual abuse p = 0.016, (β= 2.26,95% CI: 0.42-4.10), a current and past depressive episode, p = 0.046, (β= 1.56,95% CI: 1.99-5.95, 0.03;3.09) and a past manic episode, p= 0.006, (β=2.28, = 95% CI:0.67-3.89).
Individuals with SMI in this mentally stable cohort had an increased perception to RSB. This may predispose them to RSB most especially being young, having a current, past depressive episode and a current manic episode. Health care providers should assess for RSB especially among patients with mood disorders.

perception, risky sexual behavior, severe mental illness, adults, Uganda

Cite this paper
C. Birungi, W. Ssembajjwe, N Kiwanuka, E. Kinyanda, N. Nakasujja, Perceptions of risky sexual behaviour among individuals with severe mental illness in Uganda , SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2024 | PP. 403-417. 10.54647/sociology84947


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