Objective: The study was designed to assess the prevalence, patterns and correlates of schizophrenia among outpatient attendees at Madonna University Teaching Hospital, Elele over a three year period.
Materials and Methods: Case files of all psychiatric patients who attended the psychiatric clinic of Madonna University Teaching Hospital (MUTH) from January 2014, to December 2016 were reviewed.
Results: A total of 978 psychiatric patients attended the hospital within the time frame stated. Out of this, 214 were diagnosed schizophrenic. The prevalence rate of schizophrenia in the study was 21.9% and the mean age of the subjects was 35.6+10.4 years. A greater proportion of the subjects were aged 31-40 years (37.4%), male (60.7%), unemployed (39.2%), single (58.9%), had secondary education (42.1%), Christians (99.1%), paranoid schizophrenics (47.7%), and aggressive (55.1%). There was significant association between aggression and age (X2=21.417, df=5, p<0.05), employment status (X2=29.686, df=5, p<0.05), marital status (X2=21.971, df=3, p<0.005). Also significant correlations were found between aggression and delusion as well as between family history of psychiatric disorder and both suicidal variables and delusion.
Conclusion: Mental health disorders are not uncommon and schizophrenia ranks high among them. The continued neglect of mental health issues in our environment and the large unmet need for service to them is a stiff challenge. Improvement in our knowledge of the epidemiology of schizophrenia in our environment will contribute in bridging this gap.
Chidozie Donald Chukwujekwu