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Background: Success in the treatment of the mentally-ill is suggested by patient's level of functioning. This study is to determine the highest overall level of functioning among the mentally-ill patients on follow-up at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Methods: Patients were picked consecutively as they presented at the Mental Health Out-Patient Clinics of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital over a three month period. Sociodemographic characteristics of the patients were obtained along with clinic appointment records. Global Assessment of Functioning scale was adopted to determine the overall level of functioning of patients.
Results: A total of 214 patients were studied. Age range was from 11 to 80 years, with a mean age of 39.7±15.5 and modal age of 36. No statistically significant difference in employment status. The patients with secondary level of education (37.4%) and tertiary level of education (35.5%) were more represented. Almost all the patients (98.6%) were Christians. Three quarters of the patients (76.6%) had a Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score of ≥ 71, which translated to minimal impairment in their level of functioning. A good level (> 50%) of compliance with hospital check-up was found in the majority (93.0%) of the patients.
Conclusion: The better the compliance with hospital follow-up, the higher the level of functioning of the patients.
Key words: Global assessment of functioning mentally-ill, out-patients,