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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-37

A study of treatment-seeking behavior in psychiatric patients at a tertiary care hospital in Delhi

1 Department of Psychiatry and Deaddiction Centre, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry and Rehabilitation Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dinesh Kataria
Room No 15, Department of Psychiatry and Deaddiction Centre, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi - 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_46_17

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Background and Aims: Patients with mental disorders often do not seek professional help for a multitude of reasons. These issues need to be highlighted and addressed. This cross-sectional study aims to collect and to analyze treatment-seeking behavior in psychiatric patients. Subjects and Methods: Five hundred patients presenting to psychiatry Outpatient Department of a tertiary hospital in Delhi, were recruited after obtaining written informed consent. Patients were diagnosed based on the International Classification of Disease-10 criteria, and sociodemographic details were collected. Treatment-seeking behavior schedule was applied. Results: Patients between 18 and 35 years of age constituted around 60% of the total treatment-seeking patients and only 2% were above the age of 65 years. More than 60% of the sample belonged to an urban, middle socioeconomic background from nuclear families. Depression and anxiety disorders were the most common psychiatric morbidities followed by psychotic disorders and substance use disorders. Up to half of the sample had sought treatment before coming for consultation. Of these 55% visited nonpsychiatric doctors, 30% of psychiatrists and others consulted faith healers, alternate medicine, and psychologists before visiting our facility. Easy accessibility, faith, and good reputation were the reasons for going to a doctor while belief in the supernatural causation of mental illness was the major reason for seeing a faith healer. Mostly, a family member had given information about our facility. Previous ineffective treatment and cost concerns regarding medications were the predominant reasons to visit after prior visits elsewhere. Conclusion: Factors determining treatment-seeking behavior can help address problems and delay in early identification and optimal management of mental disorders.

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