Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Psychiatry ]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2078-678620160001&lang=es vol. 22 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality, depression and quality of life in medical students in KwaZulu-Natal</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2078-67862016000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es BACKGROUND: The majority of studies on spirituality demonstrate its positive association with mental health. Despite the increasing number of studies, there remains a dearth of studies emanating from African countries looking at the relationship between mental illness, quality of life and measures of spirituality. The present study evaluates the role of spirituality in relation to current depression and quality of life in medical students, who are known to be at high risk for depression. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of moderate and severe depressive symptoms in this population and explore potential correlations between spirituality, depression and quality of life. METHODS: 230 medical students were surveyed at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Medical School, using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (Zung SDS), Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS), WHO Quality of Life Scale (WHOQOL) and a demographic data sheet. RESULTS: There was a high prevalence of depressive symptoms in the medical students, with a significant proportion (15.6%) showing evidence of severe depressive symptoms (indicating likely depressive illness). Those with a history of mental illness or of having attended traditional, complementary or alternate medical practitioners showed higher levels of depression. Lower spirituality was associated with non-adherence to a major religion and a history of mental illness. Quality of life was better in second and fifth year students and poorer in those with a history of mental illness. CONCLUSION: Medical students' experiences of depression (most probably due to stress) and its relationship with spirituality and quality of life merit further investigation with a view to establishing policy guidelines for dealing with this issue. <![CDATA[<b>Methylphenidate use and poly-substance use among undergraduate students attending a South African university</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2078-67862016000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es BACKGROUND: Methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH) is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The non-medical use of MPH by learners and students has been reported by numerous studies from abroad. The practice stems from beliefs about the benefits of MPH in achieving academic success. Little is known about the use of MPH in South African student populations. OBJECTIVES: The study set out to determine (1) the extent and dynamics associated with MPH use and (2) poly-substance use among undergraduate students attending a South African university. METHODS: 818 students took part in a written, group-administered survey. Data analysis resulted in descriptive results regarding MPH use and tests of association identified differences in MPH and poly-substance use among respondents. RESULTS: One in six respondents (17.2%) has used MPH in the past, although only 2.9% have been diagnosed with ADHD. Nearly a third (31.7%) of users obtained MPH products illegally. The majority (69.1%) used MPH only during periods of academic stress. A significant association (p < 0.001) was found between MPH use and the frequency of using alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, hard drugs (e.g. cocaine) and prescription medication. CONCLUSION: MPH use among students appears similar to experiences abroad, especially in the absence of clinical diagnosis for ADHD. Institutions of higher education should inform parents and students about the health risks associated with the illicit use of MPH. Prescribers and dispensers of MPH products should pay close attention to practices of stockpiling medication and poly-substance use among students who use MPH. <![CDATA[<b>Conjoint moderate or high-risk alcohol and tobacco use among male out-patients in Thailand</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2078-67862016000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es OBJECTIVE: To better understand conjoint alcohol and tobacco use among male hospital out-patients, the purposes of this study were: (1) to assess the prevalence of conjoint use and (2) to determine the factors associated with the conjoint alcohol use and tobacco use. METHODS: In a cross-sectional survey, consecutive male out-patients from four district hospitals in Nakhon Pathom province in Thailand were assessed with the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), self-reported chronic conditions and health-seeking behaviour. The sample included 2208 study participants, with a mean age of 36.2 years (SD = 11.7) and an age range of 18-60 years. RESULTS: Overall, 34.5% of the male hospital out-patients were conjoint moderate or high-risk alcohol and tobacco users, and 31.1% were moderate or high-risk alcohol or tobacco users. In multivariate analysis, younger age, having primary or less education, being separated, divorced or widowed, not having diabetes and not being obese were associated with conjoint moderate or high-risk alcohol and tobacco use. CONCLUSION: High prevalence and several risk factors of conjoint alcohol and tobacco use were found among hospital male out-patients. The findings of this study call for dual-intervention approaches for both alcohol and tobacco.