Mental health of doctors in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria

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INTRODUCTION: Doctors are vulnerable to psychiatric morbidity as a result of their busy schedules and multiple role obligations. Yet, they often don't admit they have mental health problems nor are they readily subjected to mental health evaluation by their colleagues due to fear of labeling and general stigma.<br /><br />METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of doctors in the service of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria was done using a socio-demographic questionnaire and the twelve items General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) using a cut-off point of 3 to indicate possibility of psychiatric disorder (GHQ-12 positive). Non-parametric analysis and regression test of factors associated with psychiatric morbidity was done using SPSS. Level of significance was set at 0.05 p-value.<br /><br />RESULTS: Two hundred and forty one doctors representing 68.9% of the doctors participated in the survey. The point prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among the doctors using the GHQ-12 was 14.9%. Being married, non-participation in social activities and perception of work load as being "heavy" were significantly associated with psychiatric morbidity (p-value < 0.05).<br /><br />CONCLUSION: The prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among doctors at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital was higher than the general population prevalence. Measures to lessen the negative effect of marriage and the perceived heavy work load on mental health of doctors, such as provision of recreational facilities within the hospital and encouragement of doctors' participation in social activities are advanced.




Issa, B. A., Yussuf, A. D., Olanrewaju, G. T., & Abiodun, O. A. (2014). Mental health of doctors in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Pan African Medical Journal, 19.

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