March 2012
Tunisian Society of Psychiatry

Socio-demographic and clinical profile of psychiatric outpatients in Tunisia

Introduction: Determining the socio-demographic and clinical profile of psychiatric outpatients is crucial to identify the needs but also to optimize screening procedures.

Methods: A descriptive study was undertaken at the Razi psychiatric hospital in Tunis, Tunisia. One hundred patient files were randomly selected and analyzed during the period from 15 January to 15 October 2010.

Results: 51% of consultants were male; mean age was 43 with 47% of patients below the age of 40. 47% are unemployed, 17% are workers and 9% are students. Main diagnoses are major depressive disorder (24%), adjustment disorder (17%), somatoform disorders (11%), dementia (8%), panic disorder (7%) and psychotic disorders (7%).

Conclusions: A sex ratio of about one was also reported in other similar studies [1,2]. The high proportion of young adults can be explained by a young Tunisian population. A similar result was reported by Aina in Nigeria [1]. Unemployment is known to be a risk factor for mental disorders [3]. Main diagnoses include affective and adjustment disorders, a result consistent with the data regarding the prevalence of mental disorders in the general population [4], but different from Aina’s [1] who cited neurological and psychotic disorders as the commonest affections.


  1. Aina, F. (2001). "Socio-demographic and clinical profile of patients attending a private psychiatric hospital in Lagos, Nigeria". West Afr J Med 20(2): 117-122.
  2. Medina-Mora, M. E., G. Borges, et al. (2005). "Prevalence, service use, and demographic correlates of 12-month DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in Mexico: results from the Mexican National Comorbidity Survey". Psychol Med 35(12): 1773-1783.
  3. Weich, S. and G. Lewis (1998). "Poverty, unemployment, and common mental disorders: population based cohort study". BMJ 317(7151): 115-119.
  4. Rouillon, F. (2007). "Épidémiologie des troubles psychiatriques". Annales Médico-psychologiques 166(1): 63–70

Authors: Sami OUANES, Anissa BOUASKER, Rym GHACHEM

Institution: Razi Hospital, Tunisian Society of Psychiatry, Tunis, Tunisia

Rym Ghachem Attia, President

Sami Ouanes, Member

Anissa Bouasker Sai, Assistant Treasurer

Tunisian Society of Psychiatry




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