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The aim of this study was to test the validity of the Finnish version of the Internet Addiction Test and the correlates of harmful use of the Internet.
One thousand eight hundred and twenty-five students (45.5% men and 54.5% women, mean age 24.7 years, S.D. = 5.7) filled in a web-based questionnaire including IAT, reasons for use of the Internet, distress, social support, and substance use.
Men had a statistically significantly higher mean score on the IAT than women. Subjects with self-reported use of cannabis had higher mean score on the IAT compared to non-users (39.5 [11.3] vs 35.8 [10.8]). The total IAT score was associated with “adult entertainment” (OR = 1.07, 95%CI: 1.06–1.08, P < 0.001), “playing games” (OR = 1.05, 95%CI: 1.04–1.06, P < 0.001), “chatting” (OR = 1.07, 95%CI: 1.06–1.08, P < 0.001) and “discussion” (OR = 1.08, 95%CI: 1.07–1.09, P < 0.001) as reasons for Internet use. The IAT score had a significant negative correlation with social support (r = −0.24, P < 0.001) and a significant positive correlation with the CAGE score (r = 0.18, P < 0.001). Using factor analysis, we found a single factor solution with a Cronbach's α of 0.92.
The IAT seems to provide a valid measurement of harmful use of the Internet, as the score was significantly associated with variables tapping psychopathology.
The interest on the possible problems that might be associated with heavy use of the web has increased. The aim of this study was to test the correlates and validity of the Finnish version of the Internet Addiction Test.
1825 students filled a web-based questionnaire that included questions on socio-demographic background factors, reasons for use of the internet, symptom score measures and questions of use of substances. The back-translation of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) was reviewed by the developer of the scale.
Almost all (99.6%) respondents used the web more than once a week. Those with a CAGE score 2 or above had a mean of 39.4 on the IAT and those below 2 had a mean of 35 on the IAT (p<0.001). Those who were more distressed had a higher mean score on the IAT than those who did not reach the cut-point for being distressed (43.8 vs. 35.2, respectively, p<0.001). High IAT score was also significantly associated with use of the internet for chatting and sexual purposes (p<0.001). Using factor analysis, we found a two factor solution: 1) a depressive isolation factor (eigenvalue 15.02) and 2) loss of control factor (eigenvalue 1.53). The Cronbach-α for the sum factors were 0.91 and 0.81 respectively.
The IAT seems to provide a valid measurement of harmful use of the internet as the score was significantly associated with variables tapping psychopathology. Most of the variance in the score of IAT is explained by depressive isolation.
Numerous treatment guidelines recommend that long-term use of benzodiazepines (BZD) should be avoided primarily due to development of tolerance and a risk for BZD dependence. Despite this, long-term BZD use remains a controversial subject in clinical patient care with “for and against” debates. However, there is no explicit understanding of what is meant by long-term BZD use in real world. The aim of this study was to assess different definitions, usage patterns, prevalence and other characteristics of long-term BZD use based on published register-based studies. Synthesis of these characteristics is essential to derive a meaningful definition of long-term BZD.
Systematic review of register-based studies on long-term BZD use published in 1994–2014.
Fourty-one studies met our predetermined inclusion criteria. The length of BZD use defined as “long-term” varied in these studies ranging from one month to several years. The most common definition was six months or longer during a year. The prevalence of long-term BZD use in the general population was estimated to be about 3%. The relative proportion of long-term BZD users (all definitions) in adult BZD users ranged from 6% to 76% (mean 24%; 95% CL 13–36%). The estimates were higher in studies only on the elderly (47%; 95% CL 31–64%). Long-term use involved typically steady treatment with low BZD doses. However, in elderly patients long-term BZD use and exceeding recommended doses was relatively common. Several characteristics associated with long-term use were found.
Long-term BZD use is common and a clinical reality. Uniform definitions for “long-term”, which is in line with population-based evidence, is needed to have more comparable results between studies. Our systematic review suggests that duration of BZD treatment over six months, the most common definition for long-term BZD use in the included studies. As also recommended previously, it is a useful starting point for further analyses on disadvantages but also potential advantages associated with long-term BZD use.
Structural brain abnormalities are prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders.
To study how regional brain volumes and their ratios differ between patients with schizophrenia, psychotic depression, severe non-psychotic depression and healthy controls.
Magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain on first-episode patients and on healthy controls.
Patients with schizophrenia had a smaller left frontal grey matter volume than the other three groups. Patients with psychotic depression had larger ventricular and posterior sulcal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volumes than controls. Patients with depression had larger white matter volumes than the other patients.
Left frontal lobe, especially its grey matter volume, seems to be specifically reduced in first-episode schizophrenia. Enlarged cerebral ventricles and sulcal CSF volumes are prevalent in psychotic depression. Preserved or expanded white matter is typical of non-psychotic depression.
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