Keywords : Mental Health
Association of perceived isolation and resilience with self-rated mental health among undergraduate medical students in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has devastatingly affected the entire world and destroyed the equilibrium of every sphere of life. Like other groups of people, medical students of Nepal have been facing the conditions of lockdown and social isolation that have arisen because of the pandemic.
Objective: We aimed to see the relationship of perceived isolation and resilience with self-rated mental health among undergraduate medical students in Nepal.
Materials and methods: A web-based online survey was carried out in July 2020 using a semi-structured questionnaire in Google form. Data analysis was performed in SPSS vs 20. Ordered logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the effects of perceived isolation, resilience and background characteristics on self-rated mental health.
Results: Out of 515 participants, 44.9% were male.31.4% reported having fair/poor mental health status and 21.9% reported feeling stressed often due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An increment of 1SD in perceived isolation is associated with about a 5% reduction in the odds of having better mental health (exp (−0.048) = 0.95; p=0.026). Similarly, an increment of 1SD in resilience is associated with about 13% lower odds of having better mental health (exp (−0.149) = 0.862 ; p<0.001).
Conclusion: This study is an early step towards the assessment of perceived isolation and mental health among undergraduate medical students amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. There is a need to conduct regular counselling sessions and strengthen the coping skills of medical students duringthe pandemic.
Increased risk for mental disorders and suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Position statement of the Section on Suicidology and Suicide Prevention of the European Psychiatric Association.
2021, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 4-19
In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The Section on Suicidology and Suicide Prevention of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) wants to raise awareness about the potential increase in mental health disorders and suicides as a result of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and of the necessary restrictive measures adopted worldwide to contain its spread. Even if fear, worries and symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress can be considered a natural response to this global crisis, some individuals are overexposed to its potential negative effects, such as healthcare workers, COVID-19 and psychiatric patients, prisoners, members of the LGBTQ+ community, migrants (including migrant workers), ethnic minorities and asylum seekers and internally displaced populations. Nevertheless, social support, resilience, a supportive work environment and other protective factors may buffer the impact of this crisis on mental health. These unprecedented times are calling for unprecedented efforts. Evidence-based and coordinated actions to prevent the risk of increased mental health disorders and suicide are needed. However, most of the data about COVID-19 impact on mental health comes from online surveys using non-probability and convenience sample in which females are often over-represented. For this reason the quality of future research should be also improved.
High variability of the current mental health practices around the globe: Twenty days in the lives of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals from all over the world
2020, Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 119-140
Introduction: The present is the future of the past, and the past of the future. This journal as well as this paper endeavour to document
the lives and practices of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals for the future mental health community and to help
the clinicians of the future to understand the history and practice of psychiatry and mental health care in 2019/20. We, therefore, report
the current days in the lives of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals.
Material and Methods: To obtain reports of days in the lives of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, we published the
request on eight occasions from May 2019 to May 2020. We invited the prospective respondents/participants to send a relevant report
of their psychiatric practice in a day with a maximum word count of 750 words.
Results: We received 20 reports of variable lengths from 10 countries from six continents, including from psychiatrists, psychiatrists
in training, clinical psychologists and from medical students about their psychiatric training. The reports revealed a wide and highly
variable range of psychiatric and mental health practices, experiences and expectations. Last but not least, the reports we received were
informative and provided much information to reflect on.
Conclusions: There is a common strong commitment to support patients with mental health problems, but the ways this is achieved
are so diverse that generalisations about a typical common practice seem impossible. Future studies should focus more systematically
on the procedures and practices applied in helping patients with mental health problems in different countries and communities. This
knowledge might eventually help identify the procedures and services that are most efficient and helpful in various clinical contexts.
How to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on quality of life: COV19-QoL –the development, reliability and validity of a new scale
2020, Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 201-210
Objective: The primary objective of this paper is to present a short measure of perceptions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on quality of life, along with analysis of its reliability and validity in non-clinical and clinical samples.
Methods: The scale was named The COV19 – Impact on Quality of Life (COV19-QoL) and it consists of six items presented in the form of a 5-point Likert scale. The items (i.e. statements) cover main areas of quality of life with regard to mental health. The scale was administered to 1346 participants from the general population in Croatia (the non-clinical sample) and 201 patients with severe mental illness recruited from four European countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia), constituting the clinical sample. The clinical sample was part of the randomised controlled trial IMPULSE funded by the European Commission. Data on age and gender were collected for both samples, along with psychiatric diagnoses collected for the clinical sample.
Results: Main findings included a high internal consistency of the scale and a moderate to strong positive correlation among participants’ scores on different items. Principal component analysis yielded one latent component. The correlation between participants’ age and their results on COV19-QoL was negligible. Participants’ perceived quality of life was the most impacted domain, whereas mental health, personal safety and levels of depression were the least impacted domains by the pandemic.
Discussion: The COV19-QoL is a reliable and valid scale which can be used to explore the impact of COVID-19 on quality of life. The scale can be successfully used by researchers and clinicians interested in the impact of the pandemic on people experiencing various pre-existing mental health issues (e.g. anxiety, mood and personality disorders) as well as those without such issues.
2020, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 28-50
The objective of this research is to explore how Pakistani community perceive their mental health problems by systematically reviewing the scientific literature published on major databases. The findings expectedly will be useful for general public, for clinicians and for the researchers.
The methodology of this systematic literature search involved identifying and critically appraising studies that attempted to explore how Pakistani community perceives and understands its mental health problems. We carried out literature search on some major databases including PubMed, Cochrane database of systematic reviews and Google Scholar. We followed selection criteria where researchers aimed to find perceptions and understandings of Pakistani participants regarding their mental health by adopting scientific methodologies. The extraction of data was carried out after reading the selected papers and organising the findings under specific categories, in the form of a table. Data analysis was based on the information gathered from these studies.
The results suggest that Pakistani community exhibits negligible to little understanding regarding their psychological experiences and emotional processes as separate identifiable entities. Nonetheless, multiple parallel sociocultural concepts such as religion or faith driven practices and mythical or supernatural understandings are highlighted by this research. These are accepted and practiced in order to address mental health problems.
It appears that Pakistani community has limited understanding and scarce vocabulary to describe their inner psychological and emotional experiences. However, in order to address the mental health issues, the community exhibits a variety of responses and reactions that are driven from several unique social, cultural and religious factors. Whether these are general perceptions or causations or protective factors towards illness or possible treatment options, they all are approached and addressed with some unique understandings and perceptions that are specific to this community.
2019, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 183-194
The 6 item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) is a screening tool for psychological distress with robust psychometric properties; however, information is lacking on such properties of the scale on its Bangla version. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Bangla version of the K6 scale in young people.
A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted between August 2017 and April 2018 among 718 students aged 13-24 years (45% females) from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Psychological distress was assessed using the Bangla K6. The survey was repeated in a week. Statistical software AMOS 25 and Stata SE 14 were used to conduct the analyses.
The Bangla K6 scale demonstrated an acceptable internal consistency with high Cronbach alpha. Principal component analysis confirmed a single-factor structure of the scale. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the one-factor structure of the scale with adequate fit to the survey data. Test-retest reliability was acceptable with good reliability coefficients. Receiver operating characteristic analyses showed good prediction of depressive symptoms by the Bangla K6 scores.
This study provides an initial support for the Bangla K6 scale as an acceptable instrument to assess psychological distress of Bangla-speaking young people. More research is needed to understand our ability to identify vulnerable individuals, whose native language is Bangla and who are in need of mental health support.
2019, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 195-200
Riverbank erosion is a regular phenomenon that displaces millions of people every year worldwide. More than 100,000 people are displaced due to river erosion every year in Bangladesh. People have to resettle in a different place leaving behind their property and familiar environment. This transformation with economic crisis acts as a major stressor for the persons and their families. However, people may adapt different strategies to adapt this difficult situation and keep themselves healthy. They might have higher coping skills due to what they had to endure. This study aimed to find out the difference in the mental health status and coping strategies among the river bank erosion affected and non-affected people in Bangladesh
We interviewed 100 adult respondents, of whom 50 had been affected and 50 had never been affected by river erosion in Bangladesh. All the participants completed self-report sociodemographic questionnaires; their mental state was evaluated with the Bangla version of the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) and the coping was measured using the COPE scale.
The mental health well-being score of the affected group was significantly lower than the non-affected group. However, accounting for gender, income and age, the affected group had lower mean score in coping (55.86) then the non-affected group (64.04). However, the difference was not statistically significant.
Riverbank erosion is a major natural disaster in Bangladesh that makes people vulnerable to mental disorder. However, it receives less attention; we hope this study will stimulate future researcher to explore mental state and coping mechanism in multiple perspectives and develop evidence-based service for them.
A systematic review on the effect of Ramadan on mental health: minor effects and no harm in general, but increased risk of relapse in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
2018, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 7-16
Globally, Moslems are the second largest religious group. During the month of Ramadan from dawn to sundown, healthy Moslems are required to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual activity and harmful behaviour towards others and themselves. Thus Ramadan may change individual physical states and social interactions. Both might affect mental health within society. Consequently, this systematic review looks at the various effects of Ramadan on mental health.
A literature search on Ramadan and mental health initially identified 294 papers. We finally selected all 22 relevant papers covering Ramadan and mental health from which study data were extracted.
Relevant papers focussed on the general population and healthy volunteers, on subjects practising sports, on subjects with severe physical disorders, on subjects at risk of eating disorders and on subjects with mental health disorders. The effects of Ramadan on mental well-being were mixed. Positive and negative effects were usually minor, except in subjects with schizophrenia and metabolic syndrome, and in subjects with bipolar disorder who suffered a substantial increase of relapses.
Ramadan fasting is safe in most conditions and disorders, but caution is required in subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The research on mental health and Ramadan would profit from larger studies with more representative samples to help understand the intra-individual and social factors that affect the mental health and well-being in patients and in society. The scientific potential of such studies may have been overlooked in the psychiatric community.
Football does not improve mental health: a systematic review on football and mental health disorders
2018, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 25-38
Both football (also called association football or soccer) and mental health disorders have a global impact on the lives of billions of people. Football has been used to approach and support subjects with or at risk of mental health disorders. However, it is not clear if football itself has any beneficial effect on the mental health of players, fans or spectators. Consequently, the aim of the current systematic review was to examine if playing or watching football impacts on the frequency of mental health problems in people who are involved in playing or watching the game.
We performed a systematic review on the relationship between football and mental health disorders. A total of 662 abstracts were screened initially. We identified 17 relevant papers assessing the prevalence of mental health disorders in current and previous football players, referees or spectators.
The prevalence and 12 months incidence of mental health problems in active and retired professional players and referees were similar to or higher than those found in the general population, possibly as response to osteoarthritis, severe injuries, career dissatisfaction, low social support and poor employment status after retirement. Studies in adolescent amateurs and spectators indicate that playing and watching football games may negatively affect subjective mental health, even though qualitative studies indicate mental health benefits of playing or watching football.
Players, referees and spectators are unlikely to present with fewer mental health problems than other members of society as a result of their involvement with football. It appears that some of the infrastructure that supports resilience in mental health such as a sense of inclusion, shared purpose and positive peer identification might be developed by playing in or supporting a team. Strategies that may use the assumed positive aspects of football need to be validated before implementation of large projects.