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Objective: To study psychiatric problems among those attending primary care clinics in two major cities in Punjab, Pakistan.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study. The participants attending pri- mary care clinics in Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab, Pakistan were interviewed from October 2015 to October 2016. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) was used to generate diagnoses based on International Classi- fication of Disease (ICD 10). Analysis was carried out using SPSS v.21.
Results: We were able to interview 282 participants attending the two clinics. The mean age of the study population was 41.2 ±15.1 years. Majority were females (n=191, 70.9%) and were married (n=234, 83.0%). Two hundred and twenty-two participants (78.7%) had a psychiatric problem. Fifty-four (19.1%) patients described to have a positive family history of mental health problems. Almost one-third (n=93, 33.0%) had been in touch with faith or spiritual healer previously. None of the participants had been referred to a psychiatrist. There were no statistically significant gender differences, except for manic episode (p =0.001), psychotic episodes (p =0.000) and alcohol use disorders (p =0.025) which were higher in men, while anorexia nervosa (p =0.000) was higher among women.
Conclusion: This study using a standardized interview found the rates of psy- chiatric problems to be alarmingly high in primary care in Pakistan. There is a need to further study psychiatric problems in Pakistan using both quantitative and qualitative methods.
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