Prevalence and Pattern of Distribution of Mental Disorders in South East Nigeria

Authors : Eteike Precious Okechukwu; Oparaocha Evangeline Tochi; Chukwuocha Uchechukwu Madukaku; Nwaokoro Joakin Chidozie

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 10 - October

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Background: The burden of mental disorders globally is increasing. With the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with increased economic constraints, financial hardships, stretched lockdowns, (particularly in South East Nigeria), high level of insecurity, unrest and the accompanying poverty, it is reasonable to assert that a greater number of people in this environment are transitioning from mental health to mental disorder. The study objective was therefore to determine the prevalence and pattern of distribution of mental disorders among adults in Imo State South East Nigeria. Methods: It was a community based cross sectional study conducted from January 1 st to March, 31 st 2022 among adults in Imo State South East Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was used to select a total of 1012 subjects from the study. Nine mental disorders: depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, substance use, mania, sleeping disorders, psychosis, suicidal ideation and dissociation were assessed using self or informant-rated measures, the DSM-5 Level 1 and 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures. The collected data were analysed using SPSS version 25.0. Descriptive method was used to summarize the data demographic characteristics while the prevalence of the different mental disorders was examined and presented in form of frequency and percentages. Results: In this study, a total of 974 participants completed the study with a response rate of 96.2%. The general prevalence of mental disorders in Imo State was 48.4%. Somatic symptom was the most prevalent with 258(54.8%) while the least was mania with 15 (3.2%) of participants affected. Conclusion: this study ascertained that the prevalence of mental disorder was higher than previously estimated. Somatic symptoms, depression and anxiety disorders were the most prevalent while mania, dissociation and psychosis were the least prevalent. This calls for urgent development and implementation of strategies for prevention of mental disorders in Imo State, South East region and Nigeria.

Keywords : Mental disorders, Prevalence, pattern of distribution, DSM-5 Level 1 and 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures, Imo State South East Nigeria.


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