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Abstract

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TREATMENT DURATION FOLLOWUP AND INCLINATION TOWARDS TREATMENT FROM GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS OR PRIVATE CLINCS BY GERIATRIC PATIENTS WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS IN GUJARAT.

*Michael W. D’Souza and Rajesh Mehrotra

ABSTRACT

Background: Gujarat an industrialized state in Western India is home to around 4.53 million geriatric patients above the age of 60 years. With close to an estimated 0.93 million of these silver haired having mental health disorders their treatment is further stretched with an inadequate ratio of 1 psychiatrist for approximately 3700 geriatric patients with mental health disorders. This study is conducted in 5 major districts of Gujarat which accounts for 60% of the Psychiatrists treating 27% of the elderly with mental health disorders at major Government Civil hospitals and in Private clinics. Methods: A stratified randomized sampling was used to take the feedback through personal interview from around 50 psychiatrists of varying clinical experiences from both Government hospitals as well as Private clinics based at 5 major districts namely Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Junagadh. A type of snowballing technique was used to identify 150 geriatric patients of these doctors (after taking their due consent) who had mental health disorders namely Dementia, Depression, Psychosis and Anxiety. Results: There is a greater inclination of geriatric patients with mental health disorders for getting treated by Psycho-Geriatric Medical practitioners or Psychiatrists (as is generally referred to) in Government Hospitals/Institutions as compared to private practitioners (19% Vs 12%). Female senior citizens’ are more inclined than their male counterparts to go for psychiatric care in Government Hospitals/Institutions as compared to private practitioners (49% Vs 42%). Male senior citizens’ on the other hand are more inclined to private practitioners’ than those of government/institutions (58% Vs 51%).

Keywords: Psycho-Geriatric Medical Practitioner, Mental health, Senior citizens.


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