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In the Western world, a significant portion of college students have gambled. College gamblers have one of the highest rates of problem gambling. To date, there have been no studies on gambling participation or the rates of problem gambling in India.
This study evaluated the prevalence of gambling participation and problem gambling in college students in India. It also evaluated demographic and psychosocial correlates of gambling in that population.
We surveyed 5784 college students from 58 colleges in the district of Ernakulam, Kerala, India, using cluster random sampling. Students completed questionnaires that addressed gambling, substance use, psychological distress, suicidality and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A total of 5580 completed questionnaires were returned, and while only 1090 (19.5%) college students reported having ever gambled, 415 (7.4%) reported problem gambling. Lotteries were the most popular form of gambling. Problem gamblers in comparison with non-gamblers were significantly more likely to be male, have a part-time job, greater academic failures, higher substance use, higher psychological distress scores, higher suicidality and higher ADHD symptom scores. In comparison with non-problem gamblers, problem gamblers were significantly more likely to have greater academic failures, higher psychological distress scores, higher suicidality and higher ADHD symptom scores.
This study, the first to look at the prevalence of gambling in India, found relatively low rates of gambling participation in college students but high rates of problem gambling among those who did gamble. Correlates of gambling were generally similar to those noted in other countries. Since 38% of college students who had gambled had a gambling problem, there is a need for immediate public health measures to raise awareness about gambling, and to prevent and treat problem gambling in this population.
The objective of this study was to compare the psychiatric morbidity between the displaced and non-displaced populations of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the first three months following the 2004 earthquake and tsunami.
The study was conducted at the 74 relief camps in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair had 12 camps, which provided shelter to 4,684 displaced survivors. There were 62 camps on Car-Nicobar Island, which provided shelter to approximately 8,100 survivors who continued to stay in their habitat (non-displaced population). The study sample included all of the survivors who sought mental health assistance inside the camp. A psychiatrist diagnosed the patients using the ICD-10 criteria.
Psychiatric morbidity was 5.2% in the displaced population and 2.8% in the non-displaced population. The overall psychiatric morbidity was 3.7%. The displaced survivors had significantly higher psychiatric morbidity than did the non-displaced population.The disorders included panic disorder, anxiety disorders not otherwise specified, and somatic complaints. The existence of an adjustment disorder was significantly higher in the non-displaced survivors. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were distributed equally in both groups.
Psychiatric morbidity was found to be highest in the displaced population. However, the incidence of depression and PTSD were distributed equally in both groups. Involvement of community leaders and survivors in shared decision-making processes and culturally acceptable interventions improved the community participation. Cohesive community, family systems, social support, altruistic behavior of the community leaders, and religious faith and spirituality were factors that helped survivors cope during the early phase of the disaster.
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