Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria



The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of negative symptoms among Nigerian schizophrenics with the view to highlighting the critical aspects of the management of the disorder that require psycho-therapeutic intervention for an improved mental health care system. Fifty consecutive attendants of the Jos University Teaching Hospital psychiatric outpatient clinic with a previous diagnosis of schizophrenia were systematically sampled. Thirty-five (70%) of the subjects were males while 13 (25%) were females. Their age range was between 18 and 60 years. 64% of them have suffered from the disorder for the period ranging from 19 months to 108 months. Those with provisional diagnoses were excluded from the study. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia were assessed by High Ryod Evaluation of Negativity Scale by two-trained graduate psychologists simultaneously. Results indicated that the most prevalent negative symptoms of schizophrenia in the cohort were the domains of functioning, affect behaviour and speech.

There was high concordance between the raters on the HEN scale (Kendells's Tau-C = 35.99; P<.05). Remarkable differences in negativity were noted amongst subjects in the domains of behaviour, appearance and speech. Subjects' ethnic background and marital status were identified as determinants of these differences. The implications of findings on psychiatric diagnosis and all ramifications of mental health care were discussed.

IFE PsychologIA Vol 9, No 2 September 2001, pp. 70-83

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