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Diagnoses of children presenting to a specialized child psychiatry unit in Sri Lanka.

Authors:

P. K. D. H. J. L. De Silva Rajaratne ,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
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R. M. Wijesiriwardane,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
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B. D. J. V. Peiris,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
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D. M. A. Dahanayake

Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Increasing numbers of children present to mental health services.  We aim to describe the diagnoses and to explore any relationships with psychosocial factors among attendees of a specialized child psychiatry service in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This would help identify high-risk cohorts of children.

Clinical records of 285 children up to 18 years of age, presenting from January 2019 to December 2020 were reviewed to explore the diagnostic patterns and associations with psychosocial factors. Most were self-referrals by parents (n=72;26%) complaining of scholastic difficulties (n=64;23%) and behavioural problems (n=62;22%). Of the reviewed, 239 (84%) were diagnosed with a mental disorder, (developmental, 79%; emotional, 15%; behavioural, 7%). Behavioural management was prescribed in 239 (84%) and 64 (22%) received medication.

Preliminary exploration of data did not reveal significant relationship between diagnoses and psychosocial variables such as sociodemographic factors (including gender, age, ethnicity, educational/occupational status of parents, family structure) and sociocultural factors (including the presence of psychiatric disorders/ use of psychoactive substances in family members, domestic violence, history of child abuse, parenting style, mother’s age at child’s birth) that were studied. This needs further analysis before conclusions are drawn.

How to Cite: De Silva Rajaratne, P.K.D.H.J.L., Wijesiriwardane, R.M., Peiris, B.D.J.V. and Dahanayake, D.M.A., 2022. Diagnoses of children presenting to a specialized child psychiatry unit in Sri Lanka.. Anuradhapura Medical Journal, 16(3), pp.05–07. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v16i3.7722
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Published on 24 Dec 2022.
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