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Common mental disorders in primary care in Harare, Zimbabwe: Associations and risk factors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2018

Vikram Patel*
Affiliation:
University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Harare, Zimbabwe
Charles Todd
Affiliation:
University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Harare, Zimbabwe
Mark Winston
Affiliation:
Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Unit, London, and St Tydfil's Hospital, Wales
Fungisai Gwanzura
Affiliation:
University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Harare, Zimbabwe
Essie Simunyu
Affiliation:
University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Harare, Zimbabwe
Wilson Acuda
Affiliation:
University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Harare, Zimbabwe
Anthony Mann
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, London
*
Dr Vikram Patel, Sangath Society, 35 Defence Colony, Alto-Porvorim, Goa 403521, India. Fax: +91 832 228566

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to investigate the associations for common mental disorders (CMD) among primary care attenders in Harare.

Method

This was an unmatched case-control study of attenders at primary health clinics, general practitioner surgeries and traditional medical practitioner clinics; 199 cases with CMD as identified by an indigenously developed case-finding questionnaire, and 197 controls (non-cases), were interviewed using measures of sociodemographic data, disability, care-giver diagnoses and treatment, explanatory models, life events and alcohol use.

Results

CMD was associated with female gender (.=0.04) and older age (.=0.02). After adjustment for age, gender and site of recruitment, CMD was significantly associated with chronicity of illness; number of presenting complaints; beliefs in “thinking too much” and witchcraft as a causal model; economic impoverishment; infertility; recent unemployment; an unhappy childhood for females; disability; and consultations with traditional medical practitioners and religious priests.

Conclusions

Mental disorders are associated with female gender, disability, economic deprivation, and indigenous labels of distress states.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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