Author(s): AlKhathami AD, Ogbeide DO
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of mental illness morbidity among Saudi adult primary care patients from Al-Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional epidemiological study of the prevalence of mental illness morbidity in a randomly selected sample of 609 Saudi adult patients, aged from 15 years to 65 years who attended Family and Community Medicine Clinic, Armed Forces Hospital, Al-Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from July 2000 to November 2000. The Rahim Anxiety-Depression Scale was used in the evaluation. RESULTS: In this study, 609 Saudi patients were screened. Their mean age standard deviation was 33.72 13.39. Of these, 46.6\% were men and 53.4\% were women. The prevalence of the minor mental illness morbidity was 18.2\%, (30.5\% when the sub-threshold mental illness are included). It was significantly higher in women (22.2\%) than men (13.7\%) with p-value=0.0073. The prevalence rate was high in the younger age group, (p<0.0001). In patients aged 15 years to 29 years it was 23.2\%, and in those aged between 30 years and 44 years it was 17.8\%, whereas, in patients aged 45 years to 65 years the prevalence was 7.1\%. Also, the rate was high in divorcees (40\%) and widows (43.8\%). The prevalence rate in patients with diabetes mellitus was 16\% (p=0.562), with hypertension, 22.2\% (p=0.303), and with bronchial asthma, 28.3\% (p=0.008). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that age, gender and bronchial asthma were associated with mental illness. CONCLUSION: Our study shows that one 3rd of primary health care patients have mental illness. Due to the high prevalence of mental illnesses among primary health care clinic attendants and screening for such problems by using Rahim Anxiety-Depression scale could be time consuming, exploring the psychiatric dimension and effect of diseases should be included during any consultation.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy