Psychiatric morbidity in a gynaecology out-patient clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital Nairobi
The ma in objective of this study is to survey and show the aetiology and presentation of psychiatric morbidity among female patients attending a gynaecology out-patient clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). There is evidence from literature review that research in this field is scanty in Kenya. From the literature review, women are likely to develop neurotic disorders such as depressive episodes, anxieties or somatization. This prospective study covered 150 cases of female patients attending a gynaecology out-patient clinic. Using a two stage screening procedure the self Rating Questionnaire and the standardized Psychiatric Interview) the subjects were interviewed by the author. The data collected were analysed statistically with the help of a statistician. Psychiatric morbidity was 19.5% (29 cases of the total 150 cases interviewed). Those with Psycho-neuroses were 18% while only 1.5% had psychosis. Patients who had a positive history of mental illness amongst family members showed a significantly higher psychiatric morbidity as compared to patients who had no history of mental illness amongst their family members. The study also revealed that patients who had a positive history of alcohol ingestion had a significantly higher psychiatric morbidity than those with no history of alcohol ingestion. Other variables tested were not statistically significant. The gynaecology out-patient clinic at KNH handles about 50 patients on a typical clinic day. The study revealed that many of the patients had a psychological component which was not attended to. A holistic approach that integrates psycho logical support into the total patient care is therefore formulated and recommended.