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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-83

Delay in first psychiatric consultation and its reasons

Department of Psychiatry, Mamata General Hospital, Khammam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Lokesh Kumar
Department of Psychiatry, Mamata Medical College, 4-2-161, Rotary Nagar, Khammam-507002. Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: The proportion of the patients attending the psychiatric consultation, once the disorder is recognized is limited. Lack of adequate knowledge regarding mental illnesses and help seeking attitude from other methods like faith healers, priests are the common reasons for delay in psychiatric consultation. This delay has a reasonable effect on the prognosis of the illness. Aim: To study the delay and reasons for the delay in first psychiatric consultation, and their relation to socio-demographic variables. Methods: A semi structured interview containing socio demographic variables and the reasons for delay is used to assess the patients attending psychiatric outpatient department of Mamata General Hospital. The diagnosis was made according to ICD-10 diagnostic criteria. Results: Out of 100 patients assessed in the study, the most common reasons for delay in psychiatric consultation were ignorance about the illness, belief in magical and religious methods. Stigma towards psychiatric illnesses, financial problems, caregivers' education also influence the delay duration. Conclusion: This study emphasizes the need for awareness in the population regarding psychiatric disorders for a better outcome of the illness.

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