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  • 1.
    Alem, Atalay
    et al.
    Amanuel Psychiatric Hospital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia.
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    Araya, Mesfin
    Kebede, D
    Kullgren, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    How are mental disorders seen and where is help sought in a rural Ethiopian community? A key informant study in Butajira, Ethiopia.1999In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 100, no S397, p. 40-47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One hundred key informants were interviewed about their awareness, attitudes and practices regarding mental illness using the Key Informant Questionnaire developed by WHO. Case vignettes of seven common neuropsychiatric disorders were presented to the key informants. Informants' awareness about these disorders and help-seeking practices for mental and physical symptoms or conditions were assessed. An additional question on the prototype symptoms of mental disorders was also posed. Among the presented seven conditions, epilepsy was perceived as the most common condition and major depression was regarded as the least common one. Schizophrenia was judged as the most severe problem, and mental retardation was considered the second most severe condition. Talkativeness, aggression and strange behaviour were the most frequently perceived prototype symptoms of mental illness. Traditional treatment methods were preferred more often for treating symptoms of mental disorders and modern medicine was preferred more often for treating physical diseases or symptoms. Findings of this study are similar to other studies conducted in socio-culturally different communities. Working in close connection with traditional healers would give the primary health care worker a better opportunity to gain acceptance from the community and modify certain harmful practices.

  • 2.
    Alem, Atalay
    et al.
    Amanuel Psychiatric Hospital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia.
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    Kebede, D
    Kullgren, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    Awareness and attitudes of a rural Ethiopian community toward suicidal behaviour. A key informant study in Butajira, Ethiopia.1999In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 100, no S397, p. 65-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One hundred key informants were interviewed regarding their awareness and attitudes toward suicidal behaviour. Eighty-eight informants were male, 58 were Muslim and 42 were Christian. Informants on average, claimed to know more persons who had completed suicide than those who had attempted suicide. Almost all informants mentioned more than one cause for suicide. Of these, frustration was the most frequently mentioned cause. Most informants believed that suicide attempters are cruel, feared and not trustworthy. Their attitude toward suicide completers was expressed as condemned sinners, do not deserve funeral ceremony, and should be buried separately from others. Christians gave importance to the funeral issue more than did the Muslims. Generally, the attitudes of informants were punitive and disapproving.

  • 3.
    Alem, Atalay
    et al.
    Arnanuel Psychiatric Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Kebede, D
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    Kullgren, Gunnar
    Suicide attempts among adults in Butajira, Ethiopia.1999In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 100, no S397, p. 70-76Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a cross-sectional survey, 10,468 adults of a rural and semi-urban community were interviewed to determine lifetime suicide attempts. Among the study population, 58% were female, 74.4% were Muslim and 79.3% had had no formal education. The majority of the population were in the age group 25-59 years. Lifetime suicide attempt was reported by 3.2% (n = 332) of the study population. Of these, 63% (n = 208) were women. The most frequent age of attempt was between 15 and 24 years and the frequency of attempt decreased with increasing age. Hanging and poisoning were the most frequently reported methods of attempting suicide. Marital or family conflict was the most frequently reported cause for attempting suicide and most of those who reported this cause were women (Chi-square = 17.42; P < 0.001). Men were significantly more likely to use hanging to attempt suicide than women (Chi-square = 8.21; P < 0.001). Among Christians 3.9% had a lifetime suicide attempt compared to 2.9% among Muslims (Chi-square = 6.15; P < 0.05). People who currently had mental distress and problem drinking reported lifetime suicide attempt more often than others.

  • 4.
    Alem, Atalay
    et al.
    Amanuel Psychiatric Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Kebede, D
    Kullgren, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    The epidemiology of problem drinking in Butajira, Ethiopia.1999In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 100, no S397, p. 77-83Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to determine the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of problem drinking, a total of 10,468 persons aged 15 and above, most residing in a rural district, were interviewed using the CAGE questionnaire as an important element of a general mental health survey. Twenty-three per cent of the respondents admitted that they currently drank alcohol. The prevalence of alcohol drinking was 15% for women and 36% for men. Among those who drank, 16% met the criterion for problem drinking as defined by two or more positive responses to the CAGE. The overall prevalence for problem drinking was found to be 3.7%. Stratified analysis for sex showed that Christian religion, male sex, being ethnically non-Gurage, and smoking were strongly associated with problem drinking in both sexes. Marital status, mental distress and income were found to be associated factors with problem drinking only in men.

  • 5.
    Alem, Atalay
    et al.
    Amanuel Psychiatric Hospital. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Kebede, D
    Kullgren, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    The prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of khat chewing in Butajira, Ethiopia.1999In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 100, no S397, p. 84-91Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A house-to-house survey was carried out in a rural Ethiopian community to determine the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of khat use. A total of 10,468 adults were interviewed. Of these, 58% were female, and 74% were Muslim. More than half of the study population (55.7%) reported lifetime khat chewing experience and the prevalence of current use was 50%. Among current chewers, 17.4% reported taking khat on a daily basis; 16.1% of these were male and 3.4% were female. Various reasons were given for chewing khat; 80% of the chewers used it to gain a good level of concentration for prayer. Muslim religion, smoking and high educational level showed strong association with daily khat chewing.

  • 6.
    Alem, Atalay
    et al.
    Amanuel Psychiatric Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Kebede, D
    Woldesemiat, G
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    Kullgren, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    The prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of mental distress in Butajira, Ethiopia.1999In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 100, no S397, p. 48-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 10,468 rural and semi-urban adults in an Ethiopian district using the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ) to detect the prevalence of mental distress and its association with socio-demographic risk factors. Fifty-eight per cent of the study population were women, 74% were Muslim, 79% were illiterate. Those experiencing 11 or more symptoms out of the 20 SRQ items were considered as having mental distress. Accordingly, the prevalence of mental distress was 17%, which is comparable with the previous hospital-based studies in Ethiopia and elsewhere. However, it was higher than the previous community-based studies in Ethiopia. Mental distress was more prevalent among women. Part of the explanation was that women in the study population were older and that they were more often widowed or divorced, which were factors associated with mental distress. Illiteracy, which was more common among women and older individuals, was also independently associated with mental distress.

  • 7.
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
    On the picture of depression and suicide in traditional societies1988In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, ISSN 0065-1591, E-ISSN 1600-5473, Vol. 344, p. 55-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper deals with three problem areas regarding depression and suicide in traditional society; 1) What is the relation between the depression and suicide? 2) Is there any illness like depression all over the world? 3) What do we know about suicide in traditional societies? The author agrees with Dürkheim's classical conclusion that the incidence of suicide in a society has no clear correlation with the prevalence of mental disorders and no clear correlation with different forms of mental disorders. There are a number of studies showing that depressive syndromes exist in traditional societies. However, there is a clear difference in symtomatology between different cultures which might be the result of differences in the conception of illness. The suicide rate is generally very low in traditional societies. The ultimate solution to an unbearable life situation is apparently known to all human cultures and the suicide rate is an important indication in every society of the existential conditions of life.

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