WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-58

The pattern of psychiatric admissions in a referral hospital, Bhutan

Department of Nursing (Psychiatric Unit), Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan

Correspondence Address:
Rinchen Pelzang
Department of Nursing (Psychiatric Unit), Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital, Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan, Thimphu
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206914

PMID: 28612778

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Background: Mental illnesses are becoming a public health issue in all countries. However, data in most of the developing countries including Bhutan are scarce. This study aimed to explore the trends of admissions in the psychiatric ward of a referral hospital in Thimphu city of Bhutan. Method: The study employed a retrospective analysis method. The data were obtained from the patient admission register of the psychiatric ward to capture distribution by age, gender, occupation, nationality, clinical diagnosis, and length of stay in the ward. International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10th Revision was used for classification of the diseases. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the pattern of patient admissions. Demographic characteristics of the sample were cross-tabulated with clinical diagnosis and chi-square test was used to test statistical significance. Results: In the psychiatric ward 1336 patients were admitted over a seven-year period. In 2004-05, 127 patients were admitted, which increased to 376 in 2010-11. Higher numbers of males (64.1%, 856) were admitted than females (35.9%, 480). Mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use were the most common (45.5%) reason for admission. Among the admitted patients, 18.8% had no job or were dependents. A large number of patients were from Thimphu District (10.8%) and 42% of the patients stayed for one to two weeks in the hospital. Conclusions: Psychiatric admissions were found to be increasing every year. Alcohol and drug use disorders were the most frequent diagnosis leading to hospitalization. Attention must be paid to increasing the in-patient services for psychiatric patients.

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