The patients and relatives who sought psychiatric consultation at the Psychological Medicine Unit of the University of Malaya Medical Centre at Kuala Lumpur were questioned for the reasons for their seeking help. It was found that 49% of the patients complained of some kind of subjective distress, 41% were brought for social or interpersonal distress, and 9% for assessment without specific complaints. The results were somewhat related to ethnic groups with the Indian patients coming more often for subjective distress while the Chinese patients were slightly over-represented in the social and interpersonal distress category. There was a tendency for the upper social class patients to seek help for subjective reasons. It was interesting that 31% sought help from native healers before coming for psychiatric help, most of these ptaients being from the lower socio-economic classes. Contrary to expectations, such a relatively psychiatrically unsophisticated community indicated a high degree of acceptance and understanding of psychiatry towards the psychiatric facility of a general hospital setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health