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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105-107

Prevalence of mental illness among inmates at Mukobeko maximum security prison in Zambia: A cross-sectional study

Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia

Correspondence Address:
Mweene T Mweene
Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, P. O. Box 71191, Ndola
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.193428

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Objectives: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates for mental illness among inmates at Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, Zambia. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted to assess psychiatric disturbance using a Self-Reported Questionnaire (SRQ20). A cut off point of 7/8 was used. The Chi-square test and Fishers' exact test were used to determine associations at the 5% significance level, and magnitude of association was estimated using the odds ratio and its 95% confidence interval. Results: Of the 394 inmates in prison, 29.2% had a current mental illness. Gender status was significantly associated with mental illness. Male participants were 35% (odds ratio = 0.65, 95% confidence interval [0.51, 0.82]) less likely to have mental illness compared to female participants. Conclusions: The prevalence of mental illness is high in Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Zambia. Gender-specific interventions should be designed to reduce the level of mental illness in this prison.

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