• Attitudes of general hospital staff towards patients who self-harm in South India: A cross-sectional study

      Kumar, Narendra; Rajendra, Rajagopal; Majgi, Sumanth M.; Krishna, Murali; Keenan, Paul; Jones, Steven; University of Chester (Medknow, 2016-11-30)
      Background: There is growing global interest into the attitudes and clinical management of persons who deliberately self-harm. People who self-harm experience many problems and typically have many needs related to management of their psychological wellbeing. A positive attitude amongst general hospital staff should prevail with people who self-harm. The principal purpose was to determine student staff attitudes towards patients who self-harmed from a professional and cultural perspective, which might influence patient treatment following hospital admission. The focus concentrated upon staff knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding self-harm. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the hospital staff using a validated questionnaire was carried out. This paper reports on interdisciplinary staff from two large general hospitals in Mysuru, South India (n=773). Results: Findings suggest that within a general hospital setting there is wide variation in staff attitudes and knowledge levels related to self-harm. Whilst there is attitudinal evidence for staff attitudes, this study investigates interprofessional differences in an attempt to progress treatment approaches to a vulnerable societal group. Very few staff had any training in assessment of self harm survivors. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for training general hospital staff in self harm assessment and prevention in south India. The results allow a series of recommendations for educational and skills initiatives before progressing to patient assessment and treatment projects and opens potential for cross cultural comparison studies. In addition, interventions must focus on current resources and contexts to move the evidence base and approaches to patient care forward.
    • Social and Clinical Correlates of Stimulant Use Disorder (Mephedrone) in a Tertiary Mental Health Setting in Mumbai: A Pilot Exploratory Study

      Rao, S. Poornima; Kale, Vinayak Pandurang; Panigrahi, Sunilkumar; Krishna, Murali; Jones, Steven; Majgi, Sumanth Mallikarjuna; Bharath, D. U.; University of Chester
      Introduction: Increasing mephedrone use is a major public health concern in India. There are limited data on sociodemographic determinants and psychiatric comorbidity associated with stimulant use disorder (mephedrone) (SUD‑M) from India. Aim: The primary objective of this study was to report the clinical and social correlates of SUD‑M among those presenting to specialist mental health services in Mumbai, India. Methods: Patients with SUD-M were recruited from a clinical setting. Standardized culturally validated assessments were carried out to obtain information about sociodemographics and mental health: comorbid psychopathology Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory‑2 for personality traits and a clinical assessment for diagnoses of mental disorders. Results: Seventy patients (aged between 21 and 30 years, of whom 58 men) with SUD-M consented. SUD‑M was more common among young men from the low socioeconomic position. The most common reasons for choosing mephedrone over other substances were better high from the drug and peer pressure. There were no associations between sociodemographic factors with the severity of SUD-M. Around 40% of the patients with SUD-M had psychiatric comorbidity. Psychotic disorders and anxiety symptoms were most common. Family history of substance use, comorbid substance use, and comorbid psychiatric disorders were directly related to the severity of SUD-M. Conclusions: This was a cross‑sectional study with a relatively smaller sample size of self‑nominating participantslimiting the generalizability of findings to a wider population. Therapeutic implication of this finding is that prompt attention and treatment of the comorbid psychiatric disorder is essential while treating patients with SUD-M. Further population-based studies are recommended for a better understanding of the burden of SUD-M.