Pattern of Care Before Presentation Among the Psychiatric Emergency Cases at a Tertiary Health Care Center in Nigeria



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Objective: To determine the pattern of care sought in cases of psychiatric emergency before presentation to a tertiary health care center.

Method: Consecutive recruitment of 180 emergency psychiatric cases, which comprised a total of 156 patients, presenting to the accident and emergency unit of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Edo State, Nigeria, was conducted from June 2008 to January 2009. A structured instrument was used to gather the patients’ information including their sociodemographic characteristics, their care before presentation, and the relations accompanying them to the hospital.

Results: The mean ± SD patient age was 33.82 ± 12.64 years, with an age range of 18–73 years and a modal age of 23 years. The male to female ratio was 1:1.05. Of the patients, 121 (77.6%) were not married, while 35 (22.4%) were married. Most identified as Christian (96.2%). The majority of the patients (70.0%) presented to the hospital through self-referral. Eighty (44.4%) of the patients had not sought any treatment before coming to UBTH. Forty-seven patients (26.1%) had sought care in churches, 39 (21.7%) had sought treatment in other hospitals, and 12 (6.7%) had sought traditional care before presenting to UBTH. Seventy-four patients (41.1%) were accompanied by parents and 44 (24.4%) were accompanied by siblings, while the spouse accompanied 23 (12.8%) patients.

Conclusions: Most patients with psychiatric emergencies at UBTH prefer to present directly to the tertiary health care center in Benin City, and they are usually supported by their immediate family members.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2016;18(2):doi:10.4088/PCC.15m01817