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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 92-94

Psychiatric morbidity among inmates of center for destitutes: A cross-sectional study


Department of Psychiatry, KLE University's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Raghavendra B Nayak
Department of Psychiatry, Dharwad Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Dharwad - 580 008, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-5009.157038

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Context: One percent of the population in India is homeless (destitutes) which include beggars, commercial sex workers, homeless mentally ill, elderly women with dependent children, street children, and persons with disability. Psychiatric disorders are generally seen to be common among homeless individuals. The data are limited regarding psychiatric morbidity and its prevalence in this populace in Indian context. Aim: The aim was to study the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among the inmates of a center for destitutes. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: The study included all the residents (n = 50) of a center of destitutes. Psychiatric evaluation was done by qualified practicing psychiatrist. Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and Global Assessment of Functioning instruments were used to assess the severity of psychiatric symptoms and general functioning of the individuals with mental disorders. Statistical Analysis Used: SPSS version 13 was used for statistical analysis. Results: All residents (n = 50) of center of destitutes were evaluated for psychiatric co-morbidity. 42 (84%) inmates were suffering from psychiatric disorders. Most common psychiatric disorder among them was psychotic disorders in 19 (38%), followed by affective disorders, mainly depression in 16 (32%), somatoform disorders in 5 (10%), and anxiety disorders in 2 (4%). No significant gender differences were noted (P = 0.335). Substance abuse was present in 22 (44%) of the inmates. A significant negative correlation between psychiatric symptoms and functioning of the subject was seen, (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Psychiatric disorders and in particular substance abuse, are common among the homeless people who stay in the center of destitutes. Psychiatric disorders are likely to be the cause significant functional impairment.


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