Original Research

A profile of adult acute admissions to Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, South Africa

Herman Franken, John Parker, Robin Allen, Robert A. Wicomb
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 25 | a1244 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v25i0.1244 | © 2019 Herman Franken, John Parker, Robin Allen, Robert A. Wicomb | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 May 2018 | Published: 30 September 2019

About the author(s)

Herman Franken, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town
John Parker, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Robin Allen, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; and, Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
Robert A. Wicomb, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The Western Cape province has the highest documented lifetime prevalence of common mental disorders in South Africa. To ensure the efficient, equitable and effective distribution of current resources, there is a need to determine the profile of patients requiring psychiatric admission.

Aim: To describe patients admitted to the acute adult admissions unit at Lentegeur Hospital.

Setting: Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital is situated in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, and serves about 1 million people from nearby urban and rural areas.

Methods: This retrospective study involved an audit of all patients (18–60 years of age) admitted between 01 January 2016 and 30 June 2016. The clinical records of 573 adult patients were examined.

Results: The median age of the cohort was 29 years. Most patients (63%) were educated to the secondary level. Only 12% of the patients were employed, and 37% received disability grants. More than 90% of the patients presented with psychotic symptoms. Of these, 28% presented with a first-episode of psychosis. Of all patients, 20% were referred with manic symptoms and 7% with depressive symptoms. Many patients (62%) used substances concurrently in the period leading up to admission. Significantly more males (73%) used substances compared to females (38%). Cannabis was the most widely used substance (51%), followed by methamphetamine (36%). Recent violent behaviour contributed to 37% of the current admissions. A total of 70 patients (13%) tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and 49 (9%) tested positive for syphilis.

Conclusion: Substance use and a history of violence contributed to admissions in this population.


Keywords

acute adult admissions; patient profile; substance use; violence; psychosis

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