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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-142

Pattern and predictors of Brain Fag syndrome among senior secondary school students in Calabar, Nigeria

1 Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Emmanuel Aniekan Essien
Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, 123, Calabar Road, Calabar, Cross River State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_49_17

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Context: Brain Fag syndrome (BFS) is a culture-bound disorder that is quite common among Nigerian students. It is known to be associated with study difficulty, and in severe cases, discontinuation of education. Little is known about its pattern and predictors among secondary school (SS) students in Calabar. Aims: This study aims to determine the pattern and sociodemographic predictors of BFS among SS students in Calabar. Participants and Methods: Stratified sampling was used in this cross-sectional study to recruit 1091 students from ten SSs in Calabar metropolis. The students completed the Brain Fag Syndrome Scale and a sociodemographic questionnaire which were used in the survey. Data was analysed using SPSS software version 21. Results: The prevalence of BFS was 20.4%. Female gender, school type and local government of location, residence type, parental marital status and maternal educational status were found to have statistically significant relationships with the disorder (P ≤ 0.05). Significant predictors of BFS were female gender (odds ratio [OR] = 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.14–2.09) and having parents who were 'not married' (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.24–2.85). Conclusions: We conclude that BFS is highly prevalent amongst SS students in Calabar metropolis albeit at a relatively lower level compared to similar studies and is significantly predicted by female gender and having parents who are unmarried. We recommend that more research should be performed on this much-neglected psychopathology to elucidate it further, with consequent development of appropriate treatment modalities.

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