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Screening for psychiatric morbidity in a general outpatient clinic in Lagos, Nigeria: the need for a psychiatric presence

Ayodele Olurotimi Coker, Leonard State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Okonkwo, Yetunde Kuyinu, Ayoade Adedokun, Ayoade Adedokun, Ahmadu Muhammed.

This study was aimed at determining the levels of anxiety, depression and psychological distress among patients presenting for the first time to the general outpatient department at a teaching hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Participants were randomly selected while waiting to see the medical officers at the general outpatient department of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. They were screened with twelfth version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). There were more female participants 178 (53.4%) and about half of them were single 179 (57.9%). The age of the participants ranged from 12 - 92 years with a mean of 32.2 + 13.6. Of the total participants, 210 (67.9%) manifested with probable psychological distress, 145 (46.9%) manifested with anxiety and 49 (15.7%), 10 (3.2%0 and 19 (6.1%) suffered from mild, moderate and severe depression respectively. Psychological distress among participants was significantly associated with anxiety (p

Key words: Screening, depression, anxiety, psychological distress, general outpatients department, Nigeria.

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