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ARTICLE
Year : 2002  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-58

Attitude to psychiatric referral: A study of primary care physicians


Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos; University Teaching Hospital, Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J D Adeyemi
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos; University Teaching Hospital, Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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To evaluate the attitudes of primary care physicians to psychiatric referral using a structured questionnaire. Cross-sectional survey of the attitude of 126 (105m, 2lf) consenting doctors working in randomly selected health institutions offering primary care services in Lagos using a structured questionnaire was conducted. Non-recognition of the extent of psychiatric morbidity among patients, stigma, effect of psychiatric referral on self-esteem of patients, not being sure of how rewarding such referral could be, and difficulty in securing psychiatric services seem to affect the referral decisions of most physicians. Equal proportions of physicians (44.4%) agree or disagree with the statement "doctors need to be very careful in referring patients to psychiatrists". Addressing doctors attitudinal dispositions may be a useful step in the design of intervention measures aimed at improving the outcome of psychiatric morbidity presenting in primary care.


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