Objective: To determine the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in young unemployed people and analyze associated socio demographic factors.
Study Design: Cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Enrollment camps at Punjab and Kashmir, from Jan 2014 to March 2014.
Material and Methods: The sample population comprised of unemployed people who came for recruitment in Pakistan Army at different parts of the country. General Health Questionnaire 12 (GHQ12) was used to screen the population for psychiatric morbidity, 3 was used as cut off score. Age, province, education, level of family income, tobacco smoking, naswar (a tobacco based substance) use, marital status, dependent family members, worrying about the future and social support status were correlated with high GHQ score. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the characteristics of participants and the distribution of GHQ score.
Result: Out of 2511 people 1887 (75.1%) had GHQ score more than 3 showing some psychiatric morbidity. A total of 696 were Kashmiris out of which 540 (77.5%) were GHQ positive, 1329 were Punjabis out of which 978 (73.5%) were GHQ positive, 339 were Pakhtoons out of which 258 (76.1%) were GHQ positive, 129 were Balti out of which 102 (79%) were GHQ positive and 18 were from other ethnicities out of which 9 (50%) were GHQ positive. With logistic regression we found that family size, smoking, naswar use, family income, family history of psychiatric disorder, lack of social support, and low education were significantly correlated with high GHQ score while age of individual, worry about future and marital status had no significant relation with high GHQ score among unemployed people in our study.
Conclusion: This study showed a high prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among unemployed youth of our country. Special attention should be paid to poor people, people with low education and large families. Adequate social support should be provided to young people with no jobs and use of cigarette and naswar should be discouraged.
Prevalence, Psychiatric morbidity, Socio demographic factors, Unemployment.