Health service utilization by patients with common mental disorder identified by the Self-Reporting Questionnaire in a primary care setting in Zomba, Malawi: a descriptive study

Michael Udedi, Leslie Swartz, Robert C Stewart, Felix Kauye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There has been no study carried out to assess health service utilization by people with common mental disorder (CMD) in Malawi.

AIM: The aim of the study was to evaluate health service utilization patterns of patients with CMD in primary health care (PHC) clinics.

METHODS: The study was conducted in two PHC clinics in one of the 28 districts in Malawi. Face-to-face interviews with the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) were conducted in a sample of 323 PHC attendees aged 18 years and older who attended the PHC clinics for any reason.

RESULTS: The prevalence of probable CMD in the sample was 20.1%. People with probable CMD had a higher mean number of health facility visits in the previous three months compared to those without probable CMD (1.6 vs 1.19, p = .02).

CONCLUSION: The study reveals high utilization of health services for people with CMD in the PHC setting. There is a need for PHC workers to improve skills in diagnosing patients with CMD to make PHC services more effective by reducing re-attendance and improving patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-61
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of social psychiatry
Volume60
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Services/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Malawi/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders/epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

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