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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-12

A review of referrals to psychiatric services within a Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, between 2009 and 2012

1 Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu state, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4314/jcm.v20i1.2

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Background: Psychiatrists who work in the general and teaching hospital settings very often receive referrals to review physically ill patients on account of mental health problems, and these require different sets of clinical experience. This study was aimed at reviewing referrals to psychiatric services within a teaching hospital in Nigeria. Methods: Information in the case notes of patients referred for psychiatric evaluation from other departments of the hospital between June 2009 and May 2012 were used in completing a proforma developed to collect data on socio-demographic and clinical variables for the study. Results: These were highlights of the patients referrals from different departments: Medicine - 40 (49.4%), Surgery - 27(33.3%), Obstetrics and Gynaecology - 8(9.9%), while Paediatrics was 6(7.4%). Organic mental disorders were most frequently diagnosed, accounting for 28(34.6%), followed by mood disorders in 27(33.3%), Schizophrenia and related disorders in 12(14.8%). Two (2.5%) of the patients received no psychiatric diagnosis while another 2(2.5) were diagnosed with somatoform disorders. Conclusions: A wide range of psychiatric diagnosis could be made in patients referred for psychiatric evaluation from other departments. These patients could represent a different subset of mentally ill patients with a different pathway to care and mental health needs.

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