Available online Sep 4, 2018.
[ Original ] Volume 27, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 35-45
The rising prevalence of mental disorder and the enormous emotional, financial, socio-economic and developmental burden is a source of concern and challenge to the global community. This study assessed the prevalence of major warning signs of poor mental health and socio-cultural beliefs about the mental illness among the urban and rural dwellers in Enugu State, Nigeria.
This was a descriptive, cross sectional study, using multistage sampling to recruit a total of 724 respondents, 371 from urban and 353 from rural Local Government Areas. A researcher constructed and pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire was the instrument of data collection used. William C. Menninger's questions for assessing warning signs of poor mental health was modified and adapted. Data was analysed using Epi-info version 3.5.3. Chi-square test and Student T-test statistics were used. Level of significant was set at p ≤0.05.
Socio-cultural factors mostly believed to cause mental illness were evil spirits (51.8% Urban: 34.28% rural, X2 = 22.51, p= 0.000) and native charm (47.7% urban: 43.1% rural; X2 = 1.58, p = 0.209). Major alternative treatments recommended for the mentally ill were prayer/deliverance (59.8% urban: 54.7% rural, p=0.160) and herbal drugs/ traditional healers (31.0% urban: 35.7% rural, p=0.180). Mean scores of the signs of poor mental health among the urban and rural dwellers were 80.82±41.66 and 119.55±37.06 (t=13.19, p= 0.000); and prevalence of early warning signals of poor mental health were 21.7% for the urban and 33.87% for the rural respondents.
Traditional beliefs about mental illness are still prevalent in the 21st century Nigeria. The rural dwellers have more warning signs of poor mental health than their urban counterparts. In-depth psychiatric evaluation, mental health education and counselling are advocated.
Subscribe to have full access to PDF format of all articles and get print copy of Nigerian Medical Journal.
Volume 27 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 35-45
Online since Sep 4, 2018