African Journal of Psychiatry - Volume 11, Issue 1, 2008
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2008
Sharing mental health research resources in Africa - the place of all inclusive consortia : guest editorialAuthor David M. NdeteiSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 1 –3 (2008)More Less
It is now generally evident that the prevalence rates of various mental disorders in Africa are similar if not identical to those found in the West. Poverty and the relative deficiency of human resources are compounding factors that make it unlikely for replication of psychiatric and mental health services in the same quality and quantity as currently provided in resource-rich countries.
Board of International Affairs, Pan-African Division, Quarterly newsletter, African International Division, Royal College of Psychiatrists : newsletterSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 11 –15 (2008)More Less
"Enlightenment from Africa"
2007 National mental Conference in Zambia
The Year in Review - 2007
The Annual General Meeting of the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, and the Stakeholders Meeting on the future of Mental Health Care
From the Editor
Psychiatric disorders and general medical conditions : implications for the clinician : review articleSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 18 –22 (2008)More Less
Patients with severe mental illness have higher than expected prevalence rates of co-morbid general medical conditions, particularly metabolic and cardiovascular disease. They are also at increased risk of contracting HIV. Conversely, these and other medical disorders also increase the risk of developing mental disorders. Mental illness and general medical conditions have mutually adverse effects on long-term outcome. This interaction of diseases contributes significantly to the excess morbidity in and higher than expected standard mortality ratios for patients with mental illness. As medical practice becomes more specialized and arguably compartmentalized it may increasingly fail to integrate health care for patients with severe mental illness. In this paper we discuss the high co-morbidity of mental illness with other medical disorders as well some of the potential mechanisms involved. We furthermore argue that the bidirectional relationship between mental and medical disorders should be considered in the planning of treatment for either group of disorders. The central role of the psychiatrist in co-ordinating and integrating the health care of patients with severe mental illness is emphasized.
Source: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 23 –28 (2008)More Less
Mental health literacy refers to knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management and prevention. This is a non-systematic review of published articles on mental health literacy in the general population and among primary healthcare workers, in particular, in developing countries, sourced from Medline, PsychInfo and African Healthline databases (1990-2006). Our review of the literature suggests that public knowledge about mental disorders as medical conditions, and their evidence based treatment strategies, in developing countries may be generally poorly or inaccurately understood. The review also reveals that improving the mental health literacy among primary health care professionals is imperative. Poor mental health literacy can be an obstacle to providing treatment for those in need, and is of particular concern in low and middle-income countries where mental health services are already scarce. It is likely that strategies for improvement will need to be comprehensive and innovative, taking advantage of opportunities and meeting challenges faced in the developing world.
The neuroendocrinological sequelae of stress during brain development : the impact of child abuse and neglect : review articleAuthor A. PanzerSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 29 –34 (2008)More Less
Severe stress during the sensitive periods of neurodevelopment, (which include the prenatal period, infancy, childhood and adolescence), has a long-lasting organizing effect on the brain and stress axes. Child abuse and neglect thus exert a cumulative harmful effect on neuroendocrinological development, which persists into adulthood. It is not merely the memory of the trauma which leaves a mark, but rather the effect on neurodevelopment which negatively influences the ability of adult survivors of childhood maltreatment to cope with current stressors. The victims of child abuse and neglect are likely to maltreat their own children and so perpetuate the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment. In this paper relevant normal brain development is first summarized. Child abuse / neglect is next discussed with detailed reference to the aberrant neuroendocrinological development that is known to occur. We specifically examine effects on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal and central noradrenergic-sympathoadrenomedullary stress axes and other neurotransmitter systems before turning to changes described in the cerebral volumes, corpus callosum and cortical hemispheres, prefrontal cortex and amygdalae, superior temporal gyrus, hippocampus as well as the cerebellar vermis.
Source: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 35 –43 (2008)More Less
Objective: Depression will be the most common mental disorder by 2020, and it is also expected to be the second leading cause of disability, after cardiac diseases. Moreover, depression is likely to be a major public health burden in the future. This study evaluates the influences of culture on the symptoms of depression among Sesotho speakers.
Method: An evaluation of a sample of 100 participants diagnosed with depression was conducted, using the Psychiatric Interview Questionnaire.
Results: It was found that depression among Sesotho speakers is manifested in three areas: somatic symptoms, perceptual disturbances and disturbances of the thought processes.
Conclusion: Since it has become clear, on the basis of the investigation, that depression is a culturally diverse phenomenon, the authors also recommend that research in this regard should be conducted from a multidisciplinary perspective, so that other paradigms, including those of sociology and anthropology, can also be included.
Level of maternal education and performance of Black, South African infants on the 1996 Griffiths Mental Development Scales : original articleSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 44 –50 (2008)More Less
Objective: The study compared the performance on the Griffiths Mental Development Scales of Black, South African infants with mothers who had twelve or more years of education and who were professionally employed with infants of mothers with fewer than twelve years of education and who were employed in non-professional jobs.
Method: The sample consisted of 40 infants (aged 13-16 months), to whom the Griffiths Mental Development Scales was administered.
Results: The infants with professional mothers performed significantly better than their counterparts with non-professional mothers on the General Quotient, as well as on the Locomotor Scale. While maternal level of education did not appear to distinguish between infants in terms of social, fine motor, language, hearing, processing speed or practical reasoning, it did discriminate in terms of gross-motor functioning.
Conclusion: It is suggested that, as the infant develops, the skills assessed by the Griffiths Scales, which are initially differentiated, become increasingly interrelated. Consequently, poor gross-motor skills, which may be more likely in infants from a low socio-economic status, may have far-reaching implications. Thus, it is important to consider maternal level of education and the socio-economic status background of the infant, as this may influence overall performance on the Scales.
Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in a psychiatric population not presenting with trauma : a preliminary study : original articleAuthor D.L. MkizeSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 51 –53 (2008)More Less
Objective: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a diagnostic category used to describe symptoms arising from emotionally traumatic experience(s). Research suggests that PTSD may be under- diagnosed when trauma is not the presenting problem or when not the focus of clinical intervention. There is a dearth of South African information on the prevalence of PTSD in a psychiatric population. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and comorbidity of PTSD in a psychiatric population, not presenting on the basis of trauma.
Method: The study was cross sectional and conducted at a psychiatric outpatient clinic in the Durban Metropolitan area. The sample was obtained from patients seen at follow up over a period of twelve weeks. The researcher randomly selected prospective participants and at the end of their consultation the purpose of the study was explained and they were invited to participate. Demographic characteristics and diagnosis were recorded. Thereafter, the Zulu version of the Modified Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (MPDS) was administered and data collected.
Results: The study demonstrated that 22% of subjects reported symptoms of PTSD where the primary presentation was not trauma related.
Conclusion: A significant number of psychiatric patients presenting for non-trauma related psychopathology report symptoms of PTSD when specifically questioned. The findings suggest that such questioning may be overlooked when dealing with psychiatric patients who do not specifically present on the basis of trauma.
Source: African Journal of Psychiatry 11, pp 56 –75 (2008)More Less
Death at a funeral : a film by Frank Oz, written by Dean Craig / directed by Frank Oz : movie reviewAuthor Franco Pierre VisserSource: African Journal of Psychiatry 11 (2008)More Less
Source: African Journal of Psychiatry 11 (2008)More Less
During 2008 we hope to reach many more individuals who have previously not had a source to help them with their Mental Health queries. People still feel the stigma of mental illness and do not know how or where to get help, by continuing to provide our vital counselling service and referrals to the many people in distress who use our services, without our volunteer counsellors this would not be possible. Our 15 telephone lines are still open 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm, 365 days per year.