Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-31

Pattern of neuropsychiatric illnesses in older age group population: An inpatient study report from Nepal

Department of Psychiatry, Universal College of Medical Sciences, Bhairahawa, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Tapas Kumar Aich
Department of Psychiatry, Universal College of Medical Sciences, Bhairahawa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.94641

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Background: Inpatient institution-based geropsychiatric study reports are rare in the world psychiatric literature. Aims: To study the pattern of neuropsychiatric illnesses seen in older age group population and to study how the advancing age influences the pattern of physical and neuropsychiatric illnesses in these geriatric people. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective review of the charts of all patients of age 60 years and above, during a specified period of 3.5 years. The present study reports the findings of 138 patients (83 males and 55 females) admitted during the said period. For comparison purpose, 194 patients, in the age range of 50-59 years, who were admitted during the same period, were taken up specially to study the changing pattern of diagnosis, if any, as well as to study the significance of increased rate of physical illness in the geriatric study group. Results: Our geriatric inpatients (138) formed only 3.73% of the total patient population (3698) admitted during the said period, which is in sharp contrast to 23-44% geriatric inpatients, the range that has been usually reported in the western literature. Common clinical diagnoses amongst male geriatric patients were alcohol dependence with or without various complications (27.7%), followed by mood disorder-mania (18.1%), organic mental disorders (18.1%), psychosis (16.9%), and mood disorder-depression (14.5%). Common clinical diagnoses amongst geriatric females were mood disorder-depression (36.4%) and psychosis (25.5%). Comorbid physical illness was seen to be present at a very high percentage (61.4%) in geriatric male patient population than in female patients (40%). Alcohol dependence in male and depressive disorder in female stood out as distinctive illness in patients above 50 years of age (including both study and comparative groups). In sharp contrast to elderly comparison group's 14.9% cases of comorbid physical illness, geriatric study population had a staggering 52.9% cases of additional burden of physical illness diagnosis. Conclusions: Being elder by a decade poses a significant threat in developing an additional physical illness to an already existing psychiatric illness in the geriatric community. Though the prevalence of mental illness in the geriatric age group is similar in developed and developing countries, poor inpatient attendance of geriatric neuropsychiatric patients probably indicates a poor delivery of healthcare facilities to our senior citizens.



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