Psychiatric Morbidity Profiles of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Out-Patients in a Tertiary-Care Hospital
AbstractBackground: Psychiatric morbidity is ubiquitous, affecting children, adolescents and adults. Age factors
play a great role in pattern of morbidity profile. Psychiatric morbidity profile of children and adolescents
may indicate different needs and priorities. Objective: This study aims to sort out referral pattern, attitude
about psychiatric referral and morbidity profile among child and adolescent psychiatric out-patients in a
tertiary-care general hospital. Methodology: A total of 100 consecutive child and adolescent patients
in psychiatry OPD coming into contact with investigator psychiatrist were enrolled during the study
period. Diagnoses were made according to the ICD-10. Results: Fifty three of the subjects were female,
majority of the cases (79) were of age between 13-18 years. Main ethnicity-caste groups seeking care
were Mongol, Brahmin, Chhetri and indigenous Terai tribes. People from semi-urban and urban settings
predominated in this study. Great majority (more than 80%) had reached this service in the 4th or in more
than the 4th step of their help seeking. Most of the subjects were comfortable and happy about psychiatric
referral. More than half had presented mainly with physical and somatic complaints. Major psychiatric
diagnoses encountered were mood (affective), anxiety, seizure, dissociative conversion disorders and
mental retardation. Four percent of subjects had suicidal behaviours and 17% migraine headache.
Conclusion: Common psychiatric diagnoses among these child and adolescent out-patients are mood,
anxiety, seizure, dissociative conversion disorders and mental retardation.
Key words: Attitude to psychiatric consultation; child and adolescent; out-patient; psychiatric morbidity
J. Nepal Paediatr. Soc. May-August, 2010 Vol 30(2) 79-84
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