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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2017

Polypharmacy among children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders in a mental referral hospital in Botswana

BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2017
Anthony A. Olashore, Ambrose Rukewe



There is a dearth of data on polypharmacy in child and adolescent mental health in Africa, especially Botswana where children and adults are treated in the same facility by general adult psychiatrists. This study was therefore designed to assess the prevalence and the risk factors of psychiatric polypharmacy among children and adolescents treated at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital, Lobatse, Botswana.


Data involving socio-demographics, diagnosis (using ICD-10 classification) and pharmacological treatment were retrieved from the records of 120 children and adolescents aged below 18 years, between 1 January 2012 and 31 July 2016, who presented with psychiatric disorders. They were analysed with univariate and multivariate models.


The prevalence of psychiatric polypharmacy was 29.2%. Psychiatric co-morbidity (OR = 3.374, 95% CI: 1.177–9.9673) and psychotropic side effects (OR = 5.782, 95% CI: 1.636–20.430) were significantly associated with polypharmacy after regression analysis.


Psychiatric co-morbidity and psychotropic side effects were significant risk factors for polypharmacy in Botswana.
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