The pattern of psychological disorders and comorbidity among adolescents reffered to the youth counselling crisis clinic at the Kenyatta National Hospital
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Background: Many studies in the western world have reported a high co existence of DSM IV disorders among adolescents. Major depression and suicidal behaviors co exists with most of the DSM IV disorders. At the time of initiation of this study, nothing was known about the co morbidity of mental disorders among adolescence at the youth clinic centre at KNH. Design: This was a descriptive cross- sectional study. Setting: This study was conducted at the adolescence crisis clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi Kenya. Main Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the pattern of psychological disorders and co morbidity among the adolescent visiting youth crisis clinic at KNH. Methods: One hundred and fifty patients seen between the months of February 2009 and May 2009 met the study criteria and were recruited for the study. Socio demographic questionnaire and M.I.N.I K.I.D tool were administered and diagnosis made using DSM IV-TR criteria. Results: Out of a sample of 150 youths, Major depression had more youth with occurrence of 40% (60). Generalized Anxiety disorder followed with 32% (50) youths. Alcohol abuse and dependency (21%), substance abuse (24.16%), conduct disorder (20.81%) suicidal behaviors (43.55%). Agoraphobia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, social phobia and specific phobia are less commonly found disorders among the adolescent with percentages of less than 5 %. Schizophrenia occurred at 3% of the attendees. There were more male than female attendee in the ratio 2: 1. Conclusion: In this study, there was significant association between the DSM IV-TR disorders. Suicidal disorders were severe and co existed with most of the DSM IV - TR disorders. Recommendation: Adolescence mental disorders are very common and highly prevalent in middle adolescence. Several points deserve attention, educating public on mental health, involving families and communities, providing treatment at primary care level and addressing current home settings.


Kitetu, Winnie S
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