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A Retrospective Study of Relapse among Mentally Ill Clients Receiving Care in Selected Teaching Hospitals in a South Western State, Nigeria

Olufemi Oyebanji Oyediran, Olayinnka Oluseyi Ajao, Oyeyemi Olajumoke Oyelade, Emmanuel Olufemi Ayandiran, Gabriel Adeniyi Adediran, Adewole Olufemi Abokede


Relapse among mentally ill patients lead to repeated hospitalization that negatively affects the clinical prognosis of the patients and also imposes financial and social burden on patients, their families and the entire community. This study determined the rate of relapse among mentally ill patients; identify the socio-demographic variables of relapse and re-hospitalization of mentally ill patients and also assess the illness characteristics of relapsed patients in Osun state of Nigeria.

The study adopted a retrospective research design to gather data from two tertiary healthcare institutions that serve as referral centre and also provide mental health services to mentally ill patients in Osun State. The target population for the study were records of mental ill patients that attended the selected setting for a period of a year and they were 158 Patients. An observational checklist consisting of two parts was used to guide the data gathering.  An observational checklist that had two parts was used for data gathering.  This include section A that assess the socio-demographics data of respondents while section B identified the clinical characteristic of the clients. The generated data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS version 22.0). Using descriptive statistics such as frequency count and percentages and inferential statistics such as chi-square and logistic regression.

Findings from this study revealed that there is high rate of relapse (67.1%) among mentally ill patients and patients within the age range of 25-34 years of age and post-secondary education who are without family support has high rate of relapse. Findings from illness characteristics also showed that mentally ill patient that stopped using drugs and has been hospitalized before with two previous relapse has high rate of relapse.

This study concluded that relapse rate is high among mentally ill patients in Osun state and this has been associated with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients. Age, educational status and support are significantly associated with relapse in this study while poor medication compliance also contributed immensely to relapse among the patients. Therefore, mental health nurses need to promote preventive and community mental health to reduce the burden of mental illness in the society.

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