Epidemiological patterns and correlates of mental disorders among orphans and vulnerable children under institutional care.
Mutiso, Victoria N.
Musyimi, Christine W.
Ndetei, David M.
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Purpose The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence, comorbidity and socio-demographic correlates of common mental disorders among orphan and vulnerable children (OVCs) in residential care. Methods The Youth Self Report (YSR) instrument was adapted for use and administered to 630 OVCs aged 10–18 years in four institutions operating within the Eastern province of Kenya. We estimated the prevalence of YSR syndromes and used logistic regression analyses to examine socio-demographic factors associated with each disorder. Results The prevalence of any mental disorder according to YSR syndrome scale was 30.8% (95% CI 27.1–34.6). Female gender and older children were less likely to be associated with risk of scoring in the clinical range of the mental disorders. The presence of multiple mental problems was seen among 16.7% of the children. Of the 16.7%, 5.6% had one comorbid mental disorder and 11.1% had three to eight mental disorders. Conclusion We found a high prevalence of mental disorders and co-occurring disorders among the OVCs in residential institutions in Kenya. There is need for an alternative approach that can reach out to critical numbers of children for screening and public health, rather than purely clinical approach. The capacity for these institutions should also be regulated and more efforts focusing on improving the quality of care in the facilities taken into account at all times. Keywords PrevalenceMental disorderYouth Self ReportComorbidityOrphans and vulnerable children
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