Gender and psychiatric diagnosis: a 5-year retrospective study in a Nigerian federal medical centre
Background: The role of gender in psychiatry disorders is becoming increasingly important. This study is therefore, aimed at identifying gender pattern of admissions to a public mental health centre with regards to demographic characteristic, psychiatry diagnosis and length of stay on admission.
Method: In this retrospective study Hospital records of 388 patients admitted at the psychiatric section of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Makurdi, between January, 2004 and December, 2008 were studied for
gender differences regarding demographic attributes, length of stay and psychiatry diagnoses. Results: Findings revealed that more men than women were admitted overall. Most men (56%) were less than 30 years old whereas 60.6% of women were within 30-59 years aged bracket. For men the main diagnosis was schizophrenia (30.5%), followed by substance related disorders (16.5%) then depression (14.0%); for women the main diagnosis was also
schizophrenia (30.3%), this was followed by depression (24.5%), only one woman was diagnosed with substance related disorder. A statistically
significant association was also found between having a personality disorder and being a male (p=0.009). Most female were single and belong to the lowest occupational group. There was no significant difference
in the gender distribution of patients with respect to length of stay on admission (p=0.161).
Conclusion: The results revealed how psychiatry diagnosis is significantly influence by gender issues. We therefore recommend that; for a more effective psychiatry formulation, it is imperative to pay attention to gender issues that may affect the development of psychopathology.
Key words: Admission, Gender, Psychiatry diagnosis, Length of stay