Browsing School of Nursing by Subject "Community Health Nursing"
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- ItemOpen AccessPathways to care for clients with first episode psychotic disorders at Zomba Mental Hospital, Malawi(2015-10-01) Nyirongo, DistressThe aim of this study was to describe the pathways to care taken by clients with first episode psychotic disorders at Zomba Mental Hospital. A quantitative descriptive study was conducted among clients with first episode psychotic disorders at Zomba Mental Hospital (ZMH) in Zomba District, Malawi. Consecutive sampling technique was used to recruit the participants and a total number of 266 clients were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS Version 16. Findings revealed that 58% of the participants first consulted general practitioners (GPs), 28% consulted traditional healers, 8% consulted religious healers, 4% went straight to ZMH and 2% were first in contact with police. However, 24% of the participants who consulted the general practitioners did not receive any treatment for their symptoms. The median duration before reaching ZMH was 42 weeks and clients who first consulted traditional healers had the longest delay. Gender, symptoms, diagnosis and proximity had a significant statistical association with first seeking help from health professionals. Conclusion was made that most clients with first episode psychotic disorders seek other pathways before going to ZMH, and that there is significant delay between the onset of symptoms and receipt of appropriate care. It is therefore recommended that mental health professionals should emphasize on mental health awareness campaigns in the communities and working collaboratively with all care providers involved.