Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 149-156

Psychiatric morbidity in the community: A population based-study from Kerala

1 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Former Secretary, Kerala State Mental Health Authority and Director, IBM Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State Mental Health Authority, Kerala, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
4 IMHANS, Government Medical College Campus, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
5 Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
6 Mental Health Programmes, Directorate of Health Services, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
7 Consultant Psychiatrist, District Hospital, Kollam, Kerala, India
8 Government Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
9 Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
10 DMHP, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
11 DMHP, Idukki, Kerala, India
12 DMHP, Kollam, Kerala, India
13 Senior Research Fellow, Health Action by People, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
K S Shaji
Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_162_17

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Background: Estimates of psychiatric morbidity in the community will help service development. Participation of trained nonspecialist health-care providers will facilitate scaling up of services in resource-limited settings. Aims: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of priority mental health problems in populations served by the District Mental Health Program (DMHP). Settings and Design: This is a population-based cross-sectional survey. Materials and Methods: We did stratified cluster sampling of households in five districts of Kerala. Trained Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) identified people who had symptoms suggestive of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Clinicians evaluated the information collected by the ASHAs and designated individuals as probable cases of psychosis or noncases. Screening instruments such as General Health Questionnaire-12, CAGE questionnaire, and Everyday Abilities Scale for India were used for identifying common mental disorders (CMDs), clinically significant alcohol-related problems, and functional impairment. Results: We found 12.43% of the adult population affected by mental health conditions. We found CMD as most common with a prevalence of 9%. The prevalence of psychosis was 0.71%, clinically significant alcohol-related problems was 1.46%, and dementia and other cognitive impairments was 1.26%. We found informant-based case finding to be useful in the identification of psychosis. Conclusions: Mental health problems are common. Nonspecialist health-care providers can be trained to identify psychiatric morbidity in the community. Their participation will help in narrowing the treatment gap. Embedding operational research to DMHP will make scaling up more efficient.



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