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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, pp. 82-86
Bioline Code: hs13013
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, pp. 82-86

 en Psychological distress among adults admitted to medical and surgical wards of a Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda
Rukundo, ZG; Nakasujja, N & Musisi, S


Background: Physical illness is commonly associated with psychological distress that may be a direct effect of the illness or an adjustment in coping with the physical illness or its treatment. Little is known about psychological distress of patients on general wards in developing countries.
Objective: This study aimed to determine the extent and associations of psychological distress among adult in-patients on medical and surgical wards of Mbarara hospital in Uganda.
Method:It was a cross sectional descriptive study among 258 adult in-patients. The WHO endorsed self report questionnaire (SRQ-25) was used to assess psychological distress with a cut off of 5/6. The MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) was used to identify specific psychiatric disorders. Cross-tabulations and multivariate analysis was used to analyze the relationship between psychological distress and different factors. Interclass correlations (ICC) were computed using two-way mixed models.
Results:One hundred and fifty eight individuals (61%) had psychological distress. One hundred and nine (42%) met criteria for at least one major psychiatric diagnosis. Only 6% of these were recognized by the attending health workers. Psychological distress was significantly associated with previous hospitalizations, ward of admission and marital status.
Conclusion:There is a high level of psychological distress among the physically ill and it is often unrecognized and untreated.

psychological distress, physical illness, psychiatric

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