Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-170

The clinical profile of mentally retarded children in India and prevalence of depression in mothers of the mentally retarded

Department of Psychiatry, R. D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amit Nagarkar
Department of Psychiatry, R. D. Gardi Medical College, Agar Road, Surasa, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.130500

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Background: Mental retardation (MR) has a varied phenomenology in different parts of the world. While studying MR, psychological issues of caretakers are equally relevant. A study to investigate the phenomenology of MR in Indian children and the prevalence of depression in their mothers was planned in a teaching institute in Madhya Pradesh with an attached tertiary care hospital. Objectives: The objective of the following study is to study the clinical profile of mentally retarded children in the study sample, prevalence of depression in the mothers and investigate various factors affecting it. Study Design: A cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: A total of 60 patients diagnosed as MR were included in the study. Objective data was collected in a special proforma and mothers of these individuals were subjected to evaluation with Beck's Anxiety Inventory and the 17 item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Results: The mean age of patients in the sample was 11.6 years, had received an average of 2.42 years of schooling, mean age at diagnosis of MR was 6.5 years and their mean IQ was 53. Out of the total 60 patients, 88% of the patients had significant co-morbidities. The prevalence of depression in mothers was 85% and it was more in mothers of, the ones with significant co-morbidities (OR = 2.67), severer forms of retardation and with higher levels of anxiety in the mother. Conclusions: Prevalence of depression in mothers of mentally retarded children in India seems to be much greater than those reported from studies around the world. Medical services offered to the mentally retarded should move from an individual level to the family level, especially toward the mothers, who are the main caretakers. Counseling services, treatment if required and regular screening of mothers of the mentally retarded should be included in the protocol for management of mental retardation.



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