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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-36

Prevalence of psychiatric co-morbidity among patients attending dental OPD and the role of consultation-liaison psychiatry in dental practice in a tertiary care general hospital

1 Department of Dentistry, North Bengal Medical College, Sushrutanagar, Darjeeling, India
2 Department of Dentistry, RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, North Bengal Medical College, Sushrutanagar, Darjeeling, India
4 Department of Dentistry, North Bengal Dental College, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Manabendra Makhal
PO Dehimondal Ghat, PS- Shyampur, Dist.- Howrah, West Bengal - 711 301
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-962X.151707

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Background: Psychiatric co-morbidities are frequent among patients attending dental OPD, some of which go unrecognized and hence untreated. Aims: The present study has been carried out to detect the psychiatric co-morbidities among dental patients and determine the scope of consultation-liaison (C-L) psychiatry in a rural teaching hospital regarding comprehensive management of the patients. Settings and Design: This cross-sectional, descriptive type study was conducted in a multi-speciality tertiary care teaching hospital in the northern part of West Bengal, India. Materials and Methods: One hundred patients attending the dental OPD were randomly included in the study and every patient was consecutively referred to psychiatry department for assessment, during the period from 1 st November 2013 to 30 th April 2014. All referred patients were clinically examined and psychiatric co-morbidity was assessed by the help of General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-28 and Mental Status Examination. Statistical analysis used: The data were subjected to statistical package for social sciences (SPSS), version 16, and statistically analyzed using Cross tab and Chi test. P <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: The commonest dental illness was dental caries (22%). More than two-third of the patients had psychiatric co-morbidity according to GHQ-28 total score. Sixty-eight patients were diagnosed to have mental disorder on mental status examination. Somatoform disorder (25%) was the commonest type of mental disorder, followed by mixed anxiety and depression (14%). Conclusions: This study has pointed the need for psychological examination of patients visiting dental specialty with unexplained physical symptoms. Such patients can be identified and treated, provided a psychiatric consultation service exists.

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