Keywords : schizophrenia
Women with schizophrenia have worse clinical presentation compared to their men counterpart in Kosovo: a cross-sectional study
GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES,
2022, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 42-50
Objectives: Gender differences have been reported in schizophrenia and suggested that later onset, predominant affective symptoms and better functioning are reported in women, while higher prevalence with more severe negative symptoms, and higher comorbidity for substance abuse in men. However, since the majority of data come from high-income countries, it is almost unknown whether gender differences exist in people with schizophrenia from socially and economically diverse contexts. The objective of this study is to explore gender differences in socio-demographic and clinical characteristics in a sample of people with schizophrenia in Kosovo, a low- and middle-income country (LMIC).
Methods: The study included 101 patients with schizophrenia recruited from community services. Data on demographics, socio-economic characteristics, use of psychological therapy, and medication was collected through direct interviews. Clinical symptoms were assessed by using a combination of self-rated and researcher-rated measures. Gender differences were examined using χ2, independent sample t- tests, and univariate analysis of variance.
Results: The sample was composed of 31.7% (n=32) women. Most demographic characteristics did not differ by gender, apart from marital status (higher proportion of women were separated; p=0.010). Women presented with more depressive (p=0.010) and paranoid symptoms (p=0.011), and attended psychological therapy less frequently (50% women vs 80% men; p=0.014). For both genders, attending psychological therapy was associated with lower negative symptoms (p=0.002).
Conclusions: Women with schizophrenia had worse clinical presentation compared with men, and reported lower psychological therapy attendance. More research is needed to better describe schizophrenia in LMICs, and to understand whether access to mental health services, particularly psychological therapy, is attributable to clinical or contextual factors. Offering psychological therapy to people with schizophrenia of either gender included here could alleviate the burden of negative symptoms.
GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES,
2020, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 21-30
Clozapine is an effective antipsychotic medication licenced for the management of treatment resistant schizophrenia. Due to its non-selective pharmacology, it has a broad range of side effects. Nocturnal enuresis secondary to the use of clozapine has been documented in the literature but may be overlooked, the link between drug and symptom being clinically unnoticed. Patients may not mention urinary symptoms due to supervening psychosis, co-existing symptomatology, embarrassment or shame. By raising awareness of the phenomenon, early recognition and patient support may improve compliance with clozapine medication, and consecutively, overall mental health. Consequently, this systematic review investigates the prevalence of nocturnal enuresis secondary to clozapine use.
A literature search on clozapine and nocturnal enuresis was used to identify the relevant papers. Papers providing the prevalence data on Clozapine associated nocturnal enuresis were selected for data extraction.
47 papers were initially identified. Eight papers focused on the prevalence of clozapine associated nocturnal enuresis (CANE). Point prevalence (nocturnal enuresis at the time of assessment), 1-month prevalence and episode prevalence (nocturnal enuresis since beginning of clozapine) were given. Papers included patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar affective disorder and psychotic depression, taking clozapine medication. The prevalence of CANE ranged from 10–42%. Point prevalence was 21–27%, 1-month prevalence was 10–39% and episode prevalence was 15–42%. Clozapine was more likely to cause nocturnal enuresis compared to other psychotropic medication.
The prevalence of CANE may be greater than previously thought. However, in order to determine an accurate prevalence of clozapine associated nocturnal enuresis, larger studies with strict inclusion criteria, common definition of diagnosis and prevalence are required. By establishing an accurate prevalence, physician awareness can be improved, and patients can becounselled on the risk of developing the side effect, thus improving early identification and reducing discontinuation rates.
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
GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES,
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.