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Epidemiological studies on mental health in Tehran - Iran
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since 1979 Iranians have experienced a variety of events that reasonably will have lasting effects on their mental health. In 1979 the Islamic Revolution took place and in 1980 eight years of Iraq-Iran war started. In recent years there has developed conflicts between Iran and the International society because of the Iranian activities in developing nuclear energy. To these can be added the social and religious limitations on the behavior of people. These limitations are experienced especially strong in the life of adolescents and young people. This thesis covers four different aspects of the mental health of Iranians. General health questionnaire (GHQ-12) was utilized to investigate the mental health of 4599 Iranian 3rd grade high school students (aged 17-18 years). The GHQ cut off was taken 7 or more. A considerable proportion of the students were at risk of suffering from mental health problems (29.5 %), girls more than boys. Periodic mental health surveys in high schools are proposed to identify students at risk and activities to improve their coping skills and problem-solving abilities. To study the methods of poisoning used for deliberate self harm, 2039 medical records in Loghman Hospital in Tehran were reviewed (52.3 % were females). Loghman Hospital is a specialized hospital for intoxication cases. In both genders the greatest proportions of individuals were in the ages 20-29. Drugs, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals were the most commonly used methods in each age group regardless of gender. Females outnumbered males especially in the youngest age group of 10 to 19 years of age.

In a cross sectional study of 214 subjects from Tehran the Attitude Towards Suicide (ATTS) instrument was translated and validated in Farsi language. The coefficient alpha for all sections was more than 0.70 except for the Attitude section which was 0.68. Ten latent factors were extracted from the attitude section accounting for 61 % of the variance in the data. It is concluded that the instrument can be used to study suicide ideation and attempts in Iranian populations, but new items with special attention to Iranian cultural characteristics should be added to the attitude section. To make a cross cultural comparison of personality using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) samples of 300 Germans, 300 Swedes and 316 Iranian subjects were studied. The factorial structural analysis using procrustes rotation method showed the structure of personality to be generally rather equivalent across cultures. It is apparent, however, that there are cultural differences between the Iranian and the European subjects mainly concerning character dimensions. These results support the theoretical assumptions that character development is mainly determined by socio-cultural factors during the socialization process. Based on our studies on independent samples in Iran a significant number of people are at risk of various mental health problems. A considerable number of young and adults are at risk of attempting self harm and suicide. Because of many limitations on specific topics of research in Iran including self harm and suicide we cannot present a realistic picture of this phenomenon in our society. There are different sources of tension in adolescent's life in Iran including familial and social sources. They are ever increasing in nature and in number. Besides these domestic sources of inconvenience our people is living in a kind of cold war situation which increases tension over life of all people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Klinisk vetenskap , 2008. , 32 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1208
Keyword [en]
Iran, mental health, adolescents, suicidal behavior, personality
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1864ISBN: 978-91-7264-641-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-1864DiVA: diva2:142238
Public defence
2008-10-14, föreläsningssal A, SV-planet, 23, NUS, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2008-09-29 Created: 2008-09-29 Last updated: 2010-05-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Mental health of adolescents in Tehran, Iran
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mental health of adolescents in Tehran, Iran
2007 (English)In: Journal of Adolescent Health, ISSN 1054-139X, E-ISSN 1879-1972, Vol. 41, no 6, 571-576 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To investigate mental health in Iranian adolescents, particularly in high school students from urban areas. METHOD: A sample of 4599 girls and boys was selected from third year classes from high schools in Tehran by a stratified cluster random sampling method. They were investigated by means of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in a cross-sectional study. Following the recommendations of Goldberg et al, the chosen cut-off point for the differentiation between individuals with and without psychiatric morbidity was a score of 7 because of the high mean score within the population. RESULTS: Of the students, 1270 (19.5%) achieved a GHQ-12 score above the threshold. Significantly more girls (34.1%) than boys (23.7%) had GHQ-12 scores indicating some psychiatric morbidity. On average, the 18-year-old adolescents reported a higher level of mental health problems compared with 17-year-old adolescents in the same school year. CONCLUSION: A considerable proportion of adolescent high school students experience mental disorders, with girls experiencing such disorders more frequently than boys. Periodic mental health surveys in high schools are proposed to identify students in need of counselling or treatment to improve their coping skills and problem-solving abilities.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Social Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9574 (URN)10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.06.005 (DOI)18023786 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-04-28 Created: 2008-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Age and gender differences in the use of various poisoning methods in parasuicide cases admitted to Loghman Hospital in Tehran (2000-2004)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age and gender differences in the use of various poisoning methods in parasuicide cases admitted to Loghman Hospital in Tehran (2000-2004)
Show others...
Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3502 (URN)
Available from: 2008-09-29 Created: 2008-09-29Bibliographically approved
3. On the feasibility of a questionnaire on attitudes towards suicide in an Iranian population
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the feasibility of a questionnaire on attitudes towards suicide in an Iranian population
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3503 (URN)
Available from: 2008-09-29 Created: 2008-09-29 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved
4. An Iranian (Farsi) version of the temperament and character inventory: a cross-cultural comparison
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Iranian (Farsi) version of the temperament and character inventory: a cross-cultural comparison
2007 (English)In: Psychological Reports, ISSN 0033-2941, E-ISSN 1558-691X, Vol. 100, no 3 Pt 2, 1218-1228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Temperament and Character Inventory is a widely used personality questionnaire. It was developed to measure the four temperament dimensions of Novelty Seeking, Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence, and Persistence, as well as three character dimensions, such as Self-directedness, Cooperativeness, and Self-transcendence, described in Cloninger's unified biosocial theory of personality. In a sample of 300 Germans, 300 Swedes, and 316 Iranian subjects, a factorial structure analysis using the Procrustes rotation method showed the structure of personality to be generally equivalent across cultures. Noteworthy cultural differences between the overall Asian and European subjects reflected by the data were observed in various Temperament and Character dimensions. Seemingly, there are cultural differences in the expression of the various personality facets that require a replacement of many items in the Iranian version. The Temperament and Character Inventory is sensitive to age, sex, and cultural differences in personality.

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9575 (URN)17886509 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-04-28 Created: 2008-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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