Clinical Profile of Patients Presenting to the Psychiatry Outpatient Department of A Tertiary Care Hospital In A Hilly District of Nepal
OBJECTIVES: To determine the various diagnostic categories of psychiatric disorders as per the DSM IV in patients of hilly area of this region who presented to the psychiatry outpatient department for the first time. This observational study has also attempted to highlight the multiple presenting symptoms of patients initially attending other departments of the hospital, but were eventually diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder without any comorbid medical or surgical illness. METHODS: 200 patients who either presented directly or were referred by various departments of the hospital over a 2 month period (September to November 2013) were assessed by standard semi- structured interview and diagnosed according to the DSM- IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, IV, Text Revision). Their sociodemographic data was also recorded during interview. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 21.0. RESULTS: Patients had a mean age of 36.5. Out of the 200 patients there were 115 adult females (57.5%), 84 adult males (42%) and a single 10 yr-old female child (0.5 %). Anxiety disorders were the most common diagnosis (47%, n=94), followed by mood disorders (27.5%, n=55). Pain symptoms in the form of headache, chest pain, and abdominal pain were the most common presenting complaints leading to a large percentage of referrals from the medicine and emergency departments. Patients presenting with psychological symptoms of anxiety and mood disorder directly, were less than those presenting with the physiological symptoms. CONCLUSION: Anxiety and mood disorders are the common psychiatric disorders in this region with female preponderance. Patient’s awareness and need for relief of their physical symptoms makes them seek help initially from various other departments before being eventually treated by psychiatrists.