Objective: The study was designed to study the patterns of childhood and adolescent psychiatric disorders at University of Port Harcourt teaching Hospital (UPTH), Rivers State, Nigeria.
Materials and Method: Case files of all psychiatric patients aged between 0-19 years who attended the psychiatric clinic of UPTH from March 2015 – March 2018 were reviewed.
Results: A total of 149 children and adolescents were seen within the study period. The mean age of the participants is 11.6913 + 5.55306 years. The range of their ages was between 2 and 19 years. The largest prevalence rates were recorded for ADHD (22.1%), and Depression (20.8%). Most of the subjects were males (61.1%), adolescents (51.7%), students (61.7%), Ibo (43.3%) and Christians (94.6%). A greater percentage of ADHD patients (54.6%), Anxiety disorder (66.7%), schizophrenics (89.5%), Autism Spectrum Disorder (100%) were males. A greater percentage of ADHD patients (78.8%) and those with learning disability were 3-8 years while a greater portion of the subjects diagnosed with anxiety disorders (66.7%), depression (61.0%) and substance use disorder (100%) were adolescents. There was significant association between diagnosis and gender (X2=24.288, df=8, p=0.002) as well as between diagnosis and age (X2=158.013, df=32, P=0.000).
Conclusion: Childhood and adolescence are critically vulnerable periods of human development. Therefore the need to step up clinical and policy approaches specifically tailored to address the need of this special segment of our society is imperative.