Personality Disorders in a Non-Patient Population in Nigeria: Screening and Diagnosis

  • R Uwakwe
  • I Modede
  • GM Onyeama
  • A Agomoh


Background: Studies of the epidemiology of personality disorders in Nigeria are scanty. From clinical experience, diagnoses of personality disorders are hardly ever made in both out patients and inpatients in our mental health department. It is unclear whether the non-diagnosis of personality disorders in our psychiatric practice is an artifact of clinical omission or the genuine rarity of the disorder in our setting. Aim: The major purpose of the present study was to estimate the rate of personality disorders in a non-patient population. A second objective was to explore the diagnostic value of using a two-stage technique in diagnosing personality disorders. Method: Community dwelling residents 18 years and above were selected by convenience sampling from four communities at Nnewi (Eastern Nigeria). After proper explanation of the study and verbal consent by (potential) subjects, those who agreed to participate were administered the Personality Disorders Screening interview (PDS). The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was subsequently administered and thereafter a structured clinical interview using the Personality Assessment Schedule (PAS) was conducted. Analysis: the SPSS 11.5 was used for analysis. Simple descriptive statistics were presented. Result: Of the 108 subjects, 63.8% were females. The subjects were aged 18-55 years, mean, 31.7 ± 8.6 SD. At a cut score of 3 for the GHQ-12, 25% of the subjects had probable mental disorder. Sixty-two subjects (57.4%) scored >2 on the Personality-Screening interview. On the PAS, 15.7% had personality disorders. The commonest personality disorders were schizoid, anankastic, passive – dependent and dissocial personality disorders. Conclusion: All subjects who had personality disorder on the PAS scored e”2 on the screening interview. About 16% of the subjects had at least one type of personality disorder

Keywords: Personality disorder, Community, Nigeria.

Nigerian Medical Journal Vol. 48 (2) 2007: pp. 31-34

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eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652