Psychiatric Morbidity in Private General Practice in Lagos, Nigeria -
Two hundred and ninety-eight consecutive patients referred to the author by general practitioners working in a private general hospital in Lagos were studied.
Sixty eight percent of the patients were less than 40 years old. 88% of them presented with somatization symptoms mostly of chronic nature. Internal heat was the commonest somatization symptom. Anxiety and depressive disorders were most commonly diagnosed. At least 58% of the patients reported important psychosocial stresses most of which were related to physical illnesses and financial difficulties.
Private general hospital setting might be having a fairly heavy load of psychiatric disorders particularly those with physical symptoms presentation. The importance of early identification of psychiatric disorders in primary care centres has been emphasized.
Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine Vol.9, No.2 (1999) pp.124-126