Psychiatric morbidity in a Nigerian neurology clinic
AbstractObjective: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence and nature of psychiatric morbidity among patients attending a neurology outpatient clinic.
Design: A two-stage screening procedure with General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) was used to assess psychological disorders over a one year period. Psychiatric diagnosis was based on ICD-10 criteria.
Setting: University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin- Nigeria
Subjects: Two hundred and thirty-five (235) patients aged 18 years and above attending the neurology outpatient clinic.
Results: Overall prevalence of psychiatric morbidity was 26.0% (61/235). The most frequent diagnoses were depression (14.9%), generalised anxiety disorder (5.5%), dementia (2.6%) and substance use disorder (1.3%). Significantly more patients with stroke had psychiatric morbidity.
Conclusion: The study supports previous reports that psychiatric disorders are quite common among patients with neurological disorders. Efforts should, therefore, be directed at identifying and treating neurological patients with psychiatric morbidity since this will ensure improved outcome. In this regard, mental health professionals would need to provide liaison services for the neurologists and train them in the use of simple screening instruments for detecting associated psychiatric disorders with appropriate referral where necessary.