Referral Network Pathways of Care for Psychiatric Disorders in Kashmir – A Study from India

Shoib SHEIKH,Mohd Saleem SHEIKH,Mohammed Shaiful Islam SHEIKH
2024 35(2): 95-101
DOI: 10.5080/u26915
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Objective: Access to psychiatry services in Kashmir is challenging
because of active enduring conflict, insecurity and a fundamental role
played by the traditional health workers. We aimed to assess the main
pathways to mental health services in Kashmir, India.
Methods: This cross-sectional hospital-based study was performed
from March 2012 to June 2017 in the outpatient psychiatry department
at a psychiatric disease hospital in Kashmir. A convenience sampling
method was used to select newly referred patients to the services. A
survey was developed to collect information on demographic data and
the main pathways for patients when seeking care for mental disorders.
Results: A total of 518 patients were interviewed. About half of the
respondents (48.8 %) attended clinical consultation from a general
pathway like a physician or a neurologist, while 31.8% were visiting
a psychiatrist for a significant psychiatric disorder. For some patients
(17.8%), their initial pathway to mental health services is traditional
Conclusion: The current study revealed different pathways to seeking
psychiatric care in Kashmir India. Further studies are needed to address
the treatment gap and ways to improve access to mental health services
for the Kashmir population.
Keywords: Psychiatric Disorders, Referral, Pathway, Conflict