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Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Legislation and practice of involuntary hospital admission vary
substantially among European countries, but differences in outcomes have
not been studied.
To explore patients' views following involuntary hospitalisation in
different European countries.
In a prospective study in 11 countries, 2326 consecutive involuntary
patients admitted to psychiatric hospital departments were interviewed
within 1 week of admission; 1809 were followed up 1 month and 1613 3
months later. Patients' views as to whether the admission was right were
the outcome criterion.
In the different countries, between 39 and 71% felt the admission was
right after 1 month, and between 46 and 86% after 3 months. Females,
those living alone and those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia had more
negative views. Adjusting for confounding factors, differences between
countries were significant.
International differences in legislation and practice may be relevant to
outcomes and inform improvements in policies, particularly in countries
with poorer outcomes.
The aim was to evaluate the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in Polish population.
Subjects and methods:
The national health interview survey was based on entire non-institutionalized Polish population by means of randomized, stratified (urban and rural census tracks) two-stage method (over 39 000 respondents). Prevalence of psychiatric morbidity was based on General Health Questionnaire-12.
Psychiatric morbidity was noted in almost 1/4 of women and 1/5 of men in Poland, with small differences between urban and rural population. Every 10th woman reported such complaints at the age up to 25 years and every second above 75 years of age. Divorced and widowed respondents, irrespective of gender, have psychiatric disorders more frequently than compared groups. Higher prevalence of psychiatric morbidity was noted in out of work and especially disabled persons. The higher the level of education, the lower the frequency of psychiatric morbidity was observed.
Presented survey enabled to evaluate prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in Polish representative sample. Findings should trigger more extended epidemiological studies. The requirement for epidemiological investigations increases in reform-awaiting health care system in Poland, for at least one reason that the improvement of the quality of services is closely associated with a detailed recognition of the problem.
Apart from insomnia, poor quality of sleep, decreased sleep duration, tiredness after awakening and frequency of using sleeping drugs are important indicators of sleep problems.
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of indicators of sleep disturbance, such as quality of sleep, sleep duration, feeling of restfulness in the morning and drug utilization in a randomly selected Polish adult population.
A stratified scheme of sampling involving two steps was used. A representative Polish population sample of 47 924 non-institutionalized adults was interviewed. Assessments of sleep-related problems were based on six questions. Standardized prevalence ratios (SPRs and their 95% confidence intervals) were calculated.
Almost one-tenth of Polish inhabitants usually slept badly or very badly, a problem that was more common among women than men. Quality of sleep decreased together with ageing and this process was more rapid in women than in men over 40 years of age. Highly educated respondents had the highest quality of sleep. Up to one-fifth of the general Polish population usually woke up tired in the morning. Mean sleep duration was 7.7 h, with no gender differences. Usage of over-the-counter (OTC) medications was significantly lower than usage of those prescribed by the physician (5 vs. 16%). Women used OTC drugs twice as often as men.
It would appear to be necessary to introduce educational programmes for the community as well as for general practitioners in order to correct improper attitudes.
Cryotherapy has a long tradition in somatic medicine. Yet we know very little about its impact on psyche and mood disturbances in particular. Therefore there is a real need for scientific investigations into this problem.
The study reported here was an initial approach to whole-body cryotherapy (WBCT) as a potential treatment modality for depression and was expected to provide rough data helping to design a future project with extended methodology, larger sample groups and longer follow-up.
Twenty-three patients aged 37–70 years gave informed consent to participate in the study. Ten WBCT procedures (160 s, −150°C) were applied within 2 weeks. Participants were recruited from depressed day hospital patients. Antidepressive medication was not ceased. Symptoms were rated at the beginning and end of this intervention using the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Changes in scores were analyzed in the group of patients for every item separately as well as for the sum of all items for each patient.
Almost for each individual HDRS item, the overall score for all patients together was significantly lower after WBCT. This means that all symptoms, except for day–night mood fluctuations, were presumably positively influenced by cryotherapy. The HDRS sum-score for each patient after WBCT was lower than that of the baseline and reached statistical significance in a paired samples t-test. Every patient was therefore considerably relieved after WBCT.
It appears that WBCT helps in alleviating depression symptoms. Should this be confirmed in the extended study we are currently implementing, WBCT may become an auxiliary treatment in depression.
Sleep disturbances are one of the most common underdiagnosed and undertreated health problems among the adult population.
The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of sleeping problems and their relation to sociodemographic characteristics in the Polish population, based on the results of the National Health Interview Survey carried out by the Central Statistical Office in 1996.
A stratified sampling scheme, involving two steps, was used. Standardized prevalence ratios (SPRs and their 95% confidence intervals) were calculated. Assessment of sleep-related problems was based on six questions. A representative Polish sample (47 924 non-institutionalized, adult respondents) was interviewed.
Nearly one-fourth of Polish inhabitants suffered from insomnia. The percentage was significantly higher among women (28.1%) than among men (18.1%). The prevalence of insomnia increased with age and was highest in divorced respondents. Respondents of both sexes with higher educational levels suffered from insomnia less often than individuals with lower levels of education. The problem of insomnia applies in a similar degree to inhabitants of both rural and urban regions. About one-twentieth of inhabitants of Poland experienced recent sleep deterioration related to problems. It was associated positively with age, female gender and lower education. About 20% of the population get up not rested in the morning, women significantly more often than men, urban residents more often than rural ones.
Sleep-related problems are common and the results are comparable with those from other countries. The findings have important implications, such as the necessity of better education of the public community about the identification and possibilities of treatment of sleep disturbance.
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