Pakistan’s First Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit: Characteristics of admitted patients and response to treatment over a 7-year period
Background & Objective: Child & adolescent mental health needs to be considered as an integral component of overall health, however significant gaps exist in service provision especially inpatient services in Pakistan. The paper presents the characteristics of admitted youths and response to treatment in Pakistan’s first dedicated child & adolescent psychiatry inpatient unit in Lahore over a period of first seven years. The aim of this study was to better understand the various characteristics of children and youth admitted to this inpatient unit and response to treatment over a seven years’ period since the inception of the unit.
Methods: Inpatient medical records of children & adolescents admitted to dedicated Child & Adolescent Inpatient Unit at King Edward Medical University, Lahore were reviewed. Data was extracted regarding referral patterns, sociodemographic factors and diagnosis for the first seven years, from 2012 to 2019. Patients’ scores on Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and Clinical Global Impressions Scales administered during intake were also reviewed.
Results: Six hundred and thirty-four (634) patients, 56% (355) being females were admitted to the unit during seven years with mean age of 12.3±2.3. Mean duration of admission was 15.60±6.3 days. Most predominant ICD-10 Axis-I psychiatric diagnosis were neurotic, stress related and somatoform disorders (262); mood disorders (78); schizophrenia, schizotypal & delusional disorders (77) and behavioral and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence (44). One hundred and fifty-nine (25%) children had comorbid diagnosis of intellectual disability on Axis-III. Strengths and difficulties questionnaire scores were in abnormal range for significant proportion (>50 %) of patients. CGI mean scores showed marked improvement at discharge.
Conclusion: Neurotic, stress related and somatoform disorders are the most common diagnosis in youth needing inpatient treatment in Pakistani setup. Study results indicate that there is a clear need for specialized inpatient child and adolescent services such as ours in low- & middle-income countries.
How to cite this:
Imran N, Bodla ZH, Asif A, Shoukat R, Azeem MW. Pakistan’s First Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit: Characteristics of admitted patients and response to treatment over a 7-year period. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(2):305-311. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.2.2611
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