Published: 2021-05-25

The prevalence of psychiatric symptoms in patients seeking treatment other than psychiatric conditions: a cross-sectional study

S. Karunakara Moorthi, K. Charan Muraleedharan, Radhika Prasannakumar, Resmy Radhakrishnan, Arun Kulathinal L.


Background: There is a bidirectional relationship between psychiatric symptoms and medical disorders. Covert psychiatric symptoms may worsen the course of medical disorders. People abstain from getting treatment for psychiatric symptoms because of multiple reasons.

Methods: The study aimed to estimate the presence of psychiatric symptoms among General Medicine patients. A cross-sectional epidemiological study was undertaken among the patients at the General Medicine OPDs of National Homoeopathy Research Institute In Mental Health, Kottayam, Kerala. The Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ)-20 screening tool was used to extract the data.

Results: A total of 3213 patients participated in the survey. Out of the total subjects who responded to the questionnaire, 516 (16.1%) were having symptoms of depression, 550 (17.1%) were having anxiety, 279 (8.7%) of the respondents were having both Anxiety and depression and 1540 (47.9%) were having somatic symptoms.

Conclusions: The prevalence of the psychiatric symptoms is often overlooked due to the underlying chronic conditions and patients may not give priority for such treatment. Estimating the exact prevalence will help early identification of disease conditions to prevent the disease from deterioration, provide better treatment opportunity, avoid the associated risks, and make the patient, as well as family members aware about the disease A holistic approach, is needed especially in chronic conditions and Homoeopathy and other AYUSH systems can play a major role.


Psychiatric symptoms, SRQ-20, Prevalence, Cross sectional survey

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