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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 72-77

Pathway of care among patients with Dhat syndrome attending a psychosexual clinic in tertiary care center in North India


Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.196040

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Aim: The aim of this study was to understand the pathway to care among patients with Dhat syndrome and to study the factors leading to delay in seeking professional psychiatric help. Materials and Methods: Forty-seven patients diagnosed with Dhat syndrome as per the International Classification of Diseases-10 criteria were assessed for sociodemographic and clinical details and information regarding previous treatment taken to determine the pathways to care at their first contact with the outpatient psychosexual clinic. Results: Majority of the patients were single (70.2%), received formal education for at least more than 10 years (66.0%), were employed (59.6%), followers of Hinduism (68.1) and from middle socio-economic class (59.6%), nuclear family setup (53.2%), and rural locality (63.8%). Comorbidity in the form of any psychiatric illness or sexual dysfunction was present on 61.7% of the patients. The mean age at onset of symptoms of Dhat syndrome was 20.38 years (standard deviation [SD] - 6.91). The mean duration of symptoms of Dhat before the patients presented to our psychosexual clinic was 6.78 years (SD - 6.94) while the mean number of agencies/help contacted before was 2.85 (SD - 1.40; range: 1–5). The favorite choice for the first contact was indigenous practitioners, followed by asking for help from friends or relatives, allopathic doctors, and traditional faith healers or pharmacists. The preference to visit indigenous practitioners gradually declined at each stage. Ayurvedic doctors remained the most preferred among all indigenous practitioners. The absence of any comorbid sexual dysfunction in patients with Dhat syndrome predicted an earlier visit to our center as compared to the patients with any comorbid sexual dysfunction. Conclusions: Majority of the patients with Dhat syndrome present very late to specialized psychosexual clinics. There is a need for improving the sexual knowledge and attitude at the community level which will facilitate the early help seeking in patients with Dhat syndrome.


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