Pattern and Precipitating Factors of Psychological Disorders in Children & Adolescents in Khartoum State

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Abdalla, Salma
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A cross-sectional hospital based study in the Military hospital, Khartoum Teaching Hospital, Eltigani Elmahi Hospital and Bahri Hospital. The duration of the study was from 1st of March to the end of August 2005. The objectives were to study patterns of psychiatric disorders among children and adolescent, the association of psychiatric illnesses with chronic illness and social factors, the possible precipitating factors of psychiatric illnesses and the attitude of parent toward their affected children. The study included 72 children; male to female ratio was 2:1. 50% of children were below 10 years of age and 50% above 10 years. The study tools included interview and questionnaire as well as psychological assessment. The majority of children have behavioral disorders (79.2%). ADHA disorder was the dominating pattern affecting 30.6%. It occurred mainly in the age groups of less than 5 and 5-10 years. About 13.9% of children suffered from enuresis, which was commoner in males. Learning difficulties was shown by 9.7% of children. There was significant correlation between learning and family size and the age of acquisition of language. Depression occurred in 10 children 60% of them were males and 40% females. There was association between depression and chronic illnesses. About 50% of depressed children have more than 7 siblings. Autism constituted 4.2% of the total psychiatric disorders. Conduct disorders predominates in adolescent males. Precipitating factors of psychiatric illnesses included, hospital admission, separation from parent, accident, violence and physical and sexual abuse. Fathers responses toward affected children were variable, 30.6% were sympathetic, 6.9% showed a feeling of guilt and 8.3% rejected the diagnosis. Anxiety was shown by 23% of mothers; as expected mothers were more sympathetic than fathers. 4.2% of mothers were depressed due to their children illness, 6.9% were unresponsive while 12.5% of fathers showed unresponsiveness.
PSYCHOLOGICAL, DISORDERS, CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS,Dissociative , somatisation disorders