Psychiatric diagnosis of children presenting with medically unexplained symptoms

  • Madhavi Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dr Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Foundation, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Sarath Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dr Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Foundation, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Therissa Post-Graduate, Department of Psychiatry, Dr Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Foundation, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Krishna Mohan Professor & HOD, Department of Psychiatry, Dr Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Foundation, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Jhansi Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Dr Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Foundation, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Keywords: Child psychiatry, medically unexplained symptoms, psychiatric diagnosis.

Abstract

Background

 

Child mental health care has received scant attention in service, research, and training than adults in developing countries. Information regarding the morbidity profiles of children would help increase awareness and to define needs and priorities for service planning, evaluation of time trends and demography changes in disease patterns, and prevalence rates in the population.

 

Aim

 

To study the psychiatric diagnosis of children presenting with medically unexplained symptoms to a child guidance clinic of a tertiary care hospital over two years.

 

Methods

 

A retrospective analysis of 318 children who have presented to the child guidance clinic was carried out.

 

                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Results

 

Among the 318 children and adolescents included in the study, 144 (45.28%) presented with medically unexplained symptoms and were referred to the child guidance clinic by other departments of the institute. The most frequent diagnosis in those presented with medically unexplained symptoms was dissociative [conversion] disorders (54.17%), followed by depressive episode (15.27%), phobic anxiety disorders (10.42%), and mental retardation (5.55%).

 

Conclusion

 

We found that psychiatric assessment of children referred for medically unexplained symptoms often revealed treatable psychiatric disorders.

 

 

Published
2020-12-29
Section
Original Articles