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Substance use disorders among mentally ill patients in a General Hospital in Sri Lanka: prevalence and correlates

Authors:

A Hapangama ,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, LK
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KALA Kuruppuarachchi,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, LK
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A Pathmeswaran

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, LK
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Abstract

Note: The affiliations for A Hapangama and KALA Kuruppuarachchi where changed from Department of Paediatrics to Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama. (04/10/2013)

Objectives To determine the prevalence, and demographic and clinical correlates of substance use disorders among the mentally ill.

Design and Setting Cross sectional analytical study. Data were collected from consecutive patients treated at a Tertiary care Psychiatry Unit, Western Province, Sri Lanka using an interview schedule administered by a senior registrar in psychiatry.

Measurements Diagnosis was based on ICD 10 criteria and the Clinician Rating Scale: Alcohol Use Scale (AUS) and the Drug Use Scale (DUS). The data were analysed using SPSS and WinPepi software programmes, utilising the chi squared, t test and median test.

Results Among a sample of 325 patients, 66% were male; 33% were diagnosed with depressive disorder, 30% with schizophrenia, 23% with bipolar affective disorder and 13% with other disorders. Prevalence of comorbid substance use disorders was 43% (95% CI 38 - 49%). Alcohol was the commonest type of substance used. Those who had a comorbid substance use diagnosis were more likely to be male, have a lower educational level, be unemployed and have a poorer level of social support. They were also found to have poorer treatment adherence, increased number of hospital admissions and an increased association with episodes of violence.

Conclusion A significant proportion of patients were found to have a comorbid substance use diagnosis and associated complications. These findings have important implications for service provision for mentally ill patients with a comorbid substance use disorder.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i3.6103

Ceylon Medical Journal 2013; 58: 111-115

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i3.6103
How to Cite: Hapangama, A., Kuruppuarachchi, K. and Pathmeswaran, A., 2013. Substance use disorders among mentally ill patients in a General Hospital in Sri Lanka: prevalence and correlates. Ceylon Medical Journal, 58(3), pp.111–115. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i3.6103
Published on 27 Sep 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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